Leadership Tussle: PDP Elders Step Up Engagement, Advocate Return To Status Quo
- Want Secondus, Wike to withdraw suits in Rivers, Kebbi courts
- Say order suspending party chair was illegal
Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have stepped up their engagements to try to resolve the crisis besetting the main opposition party, even as they advocated a return to status quo between the two main gladiators in the party.
They asked both Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the embattled National Chairman, Uche Secondus, to withdraw their suits from the Degema High Court, Rivers State; Calabar High Court and Kebbi High Court, stressing that the order which suspended Secondus in the first place was illegal.
Flavision gathered these were part of the decisions made by the six-man committee set up by the national caucus of the PDP to resolve the leadership crisis, after meeting with the two feuding principal characters.
Former senate presidents David Mark, Bukola Saraki and Anyim Pius Anyim, as well as the governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaka, among others, lead the committee.
Basically, the committee wanted both Secondus and Wike to withdraw all suits before the Degema High Court, Calabar High Court and Kebbi High Court and allow the return to the status quo, a source explained.
Asking Secondus to resign as National Chairman, the source noted, was out of the question, as in the first instance, the restraining order against him was illegal.
The source said,
By the constitution of the PDP, a ward, in this case, the Akoko Toro ward, cannot suspend a national officer, no matter the offence.
Interestingly, however, officials at Secondus’ ward have disclaimed the news that they suspended him as there was no time, the issue of Secondus was brought before the ward executive.
The order of the Degema High Court was on a wrong premise and, therefore, cannot stand before the eyes of the law. But our fear is that we don’t want this matter to go further for fear of it being hijacked by external political forces.
The source recalled what happened when Jegede, a former governorship candidate in Ondo State, contested in 2016 against Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and it was just 72 hours to the governorship election that the Supreme Court delivered judgement in favour of the PDP.
This is our fear as we don’t want this leadership tussle to degenerate more than this level,
the source said.
A source privy to the meetings, hinted that the Mark committee met Secondus in his office on Friday evening at the party’s national secretariat, where it was agreed that he would preside over Saturday’s National Executive Committee (NEC), but for the late night court order from Calabar, Cross River State.
Secondus, despite the understanding that he would preside at the NEC, had asked his Deputy National Chairman, South, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, to preside as a mark of respect for court order.
But the Mark committee spoke on the phone with Wike over the leadership crisis.
According to the Flavision source, Wike and members of the committee spoke on how to revolve the crisis, through a conference call.
Wike was said to have told the committee members that he would have preferred the matter to be resolved at the Supreme Court, the way the apex court did, when Senator Ali Sheriff claimed to be the national chairman of PDP in 2017
But the Mark committee, sources claimed, remained undaunted and scheduled to speak to Wike on the matter again
That, nonetheless, the committee members were confident that the ice had been thawed and that with time, truce would be reached.
Justin Nwosu is the founder and publisher of Flavision. His core interest is in writing unbiased news about Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. He’s a strong adherent of investigative journalism, with a bent on exposing corruption, abuse of power and societal ills.