PDP Officers In Stiff Battle For Secondus’ Chairmanship Seat

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The crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) took another dimension on Tuesday as the national leadership has split into two factions.
Deputy National Chairman (South), Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, leads one faction while the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Suleiman Nazif, has taken charge of the other.

It was reported that a Rivers’ State High Court court had on Monday issued an order restraining Prince Uche Secondus from parading himself as PDP National Chairman, and also, from taking part in any activity of the party while the order lasts.

Akinwonmi and Nazif are laying claim to the position of the National Chairman, to fill the leadership gap created by the judicial suspension of Secondus.
Akinwonmi, in a statement on Tuesday, announced his assumption of office as Secondus’ replacement pending the determination of the restraining order slammed him by the court on Tuesday.

He said: “Section 45(2)(b) of the constitution of the People’s Democratic Party empowers me to summon and preside over party meetings in the absence of the national chairman.

“Our attention was drawn yesterday evening to a court order which purports to restrain our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus from summoning and presiding over the meetings of the organs of the party.”

An NWC meeting was earlier scheduled for Tuesday, August 24. But Akinwonmi said the meeting had been postponed until further notice to allow for broader consultations in the overall interest of the party.

“In the foregoing circumstances, as Deputy National Chairman (South) of the People’s Democratic Party, after the consultations and in the exercise of the aforesaid powers, hereby deem it fit and proper to postpone the National Working Committee meeting earlier scheduled for today until further notice to allow for broader consultations in the overall interest of our party,” he added.

But another faction, including nine members of the NWC, under the leadership of the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Suleiman Nazif, defied the earlier announcement by Akinwonmi.

Nazif’s faction hurriedly summoned a meeting of the NWC with about seven of the 18 members in attendance.

It was at the meeting, held at the NWC hall at the party secretariat that Nazif pronounced himself the National Chairman, stressing that Akinwonmi, who has been battling a protracted stroke-related ailment, was incapacitated and as such, could not perform the duties of National Chairman.

The Nazif faction has also fixed an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party on August 27.

Meanwhile, supporters of the suspended National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, on Tuesday protest the court order, restraining him from office
The protesters marched around the National Headquarters of the party at Wadata Plaza in Abuja, displaying placards as they chanted the pro-Secondus slogan
Some of the slogans had inscriptions which read, ‘Secondus must finish his tenure,’ ‘PDP is a law-abiding party,’ ‘Secondus wiped away corruption in the party,’ ‘Secondus must stay,’ ‘Our party has made progress under Secondus,’ ‘Greatest betrayal of all time,’ and ‘Don’t destabilise our dear party.’

The placard that read ‘Greatest betrayal of all time’ listed the names of some members of the NWC, including Nazif and National Youth Leader Sunday Ude-Okoye, who are among leaders of the anti-Secondus group, as betrayers.

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