Against the backdrop of the crisis rocking some of its state chapters, and perceived failure of the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Executive Committee, NEC’s failure to take advantage of perceived gaffes of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the National Working Committee, NWC of PDP had a stormy meeting, yesterday.
The NWC it was gathered was divided over what some members alleged as the party’s incapacity to take opportunity of the APC’s poor leadership to boost the fortunes of the PDP. The matter was compounded by the management of crises in some Northern chapters of the party and the continued suspension of some members of the National Assembly.
The PDP had suspended Ndudi Elumelu, Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid for allegedly backing the emergence of Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives against the PDP’s choices.
The PDP had nominated Kingsley Chinda for the position of minority leader; proposed Chukwuka Onyema as deputy minority leader; Yakubu Barde as minority whip and Muraina Ajibola as deputy minority whip.
However, Speaker Gbajabiamila side-stepped the PDP’s nominees and endorsed the list led by Elumelu with Toby Okechukwu (Enugu) as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
Also, at the NWC meeting, yesterday, sources said that Secondus was put on the spot on lifting the suspension, a proposal that seemed to put him between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Lifting the suspension is bound to raise issues with some governors who accused the National Assembly ‘rebels’ of having betrayed the party during the election that brought Gbajabiamila.
Secondus has reportedly been at discord with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and it was feared that lifting the suspension would further put him in trouble with the governor.
The meeting which was supposed to last between 12 noon and 2.00 p.m. lasted at least two more hours as the NWC tried to calm frayed nerves.
Said a source: “It was a stormy meeting and at least two prominent national officers threatened to resign saying that they would not want to be dragged down with what is happening. Most of the issues we have especially in the North have to do with poor party management.”
Speaking exclusively on the issues, National Secretary of the party, Senator Ibrahim Umar Tsauri, said there is no leadership crisis in PDP but lamented that the APC was bent on causing crisis for the party, particularly in the states where it is in control of the reins of government.
He said: “As a member of the NWC of our party, I am not aware of any crisis in the leadership of the party. The chairman has been doing a good job since he came on board and we are very delighted to have him as our boss and leader.”
“The APC has failed woefully both at the state and federal levels. The ruling party knows that Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the PDP to return to power. As a party, we are one and there is no division within our ranks. This is why APC is using the window of its revalidation of membership exercise to offer poor people in the grassroots money to join them. Those are the defections you hear about but Nigerians know that a house built on a weak foundation cannot stand.
“They have tried to infiltrate our ranks and have so far failed but they are trying to create crisis for the PDP in those states where they (the APC) are in charge. This is the problem we are having in some states today but I can assure you that this will be over very soon,” he said.