… As 7 Deputy National Officers of the party resign, cite ill-treatment, exclusion by NWC
… Accuse NWC members of collecting money from govs without sharing with them
… As party’s Youth Leader asks National Chairman to resign immediately, insists NWC sharply divided
… We’re dialoguing on the issues that were raised — Party spokesman
BARELY five months to the end of their tenure Seven Deputy National Officers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have resigned their various positions and membership of the National Executive Committee, NEC. The affected officials cited various reasons for their actions, including “bad treatment and exclusion” by the leadership of the National Working Committee and the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. Those who resigned include Diran Odeyemi, Deputy National Publicity Secretary; Ahmed Bello, Deputy National Legal Adviser; Umoru Hadizat, Deputy National Women Leader; Divine Amina Arong, Deputy National Auditor; Hassan Yakubu, Deputy National Organizing Secretary; and Irona Alphonsus, Deputy National Financial Secretary. However, none of the Deputy National Officers who resigned is a member of the National Working Committee, NWC. One of the Deputy National Officers that resigned, who craved for anonymity shed light on what they termed “bad treatment” that led to their resignation. He said: “My brother, since our election in 2017, we (Deputy National Officers) have only met with our Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus thrice.
It is not as if he called us; on those three occasions, we sought audience with him.” “The most annoying part is that during Christmas and Sallah festivities, the NWC would visit our governors. They would collect money and other items but I can tell you that they don’t share anything with the deputies. “To him, we are just a necessary evil to be tolerated but never to be catered for. We all have our constituencies and our followers but from the way we are being treated, it appears they see us as nothing but appendages forced on them by the party’s “Constitution”, he stated. Chairman of the PDP Deputy National Officers Forum, Diran Odeyemi who has been in London, United Kingdom in the past six days while declining to comment on the development, however, said he aligned himself completely with the decision of his colleagues to throw in the towel. However, sources at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja said the mass resignation is one of the strategies to arm-twist the leadership of the party to sack the embattled National Chairman from office. While promising to remain loyal to the PDP, they will not be able to work with the current National Working Committee, NWC.
The latest development comes amid the defection of major stakeholders in the party over the past months. In November 2020, David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi state defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, stating that his decision was “a protest to the injustice being done to the South East by the PDP since 1998 till date”. Umahi’s defection was followed by that of Ben Ayade and Bello Matawalle, Governors of Cross River and Zamfara states, in May and June 2021, respectively. While Ayade had said his decision to decamp is because “it is my responsibility to bring back Cross River to the center in order to enhance her fortunes”, Matawalle had based his decision on the need to “bring peace to Zamfara”. The PDP also lost seven members of the House of Representatives to the APC within a period of two weeks, between June and July 2021.
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has been in the vanguard for the sack of the National Chairman to enable the party leaders to reposition the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general election. Meanwhile, following the mass resignation of seven Deputy National Officers of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP yesterday, the party’s National Youth Leader, SKE Ude-Okoye has called on Prince Uche Secondus to resign as National Chairman of the party. Speaking during an interactive session with Journalists at the PDP National Secretariat, UdeOkoye said Prince Secondus is incompetent and vowed to quit the party if the National Chairman does not resign. “Mr. Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the party is incompetent of managing the affairs of this party, he lacks the managerial capacity to manage PDP. “He had made sure that many departments of the party did not function as effectively as it ought to function. Mr. Chairman has nothing to offer to the party only to come here and deceive us. “There is a sharp division in our NWC right now, not only me, many more NWC members are more aggrieved than myself. “Today I have asked him in our NWC meeting to resign his position as the Chairman of this party because he cannot lead this party to victory.
“I am also asking the leaders, the governors, the founding fathers, the youth, the women to rise up to rescue our party from the hand of incompetent leaders like Secondus because he is not willing to take us anywhere. He is just there to make sure that he enriches himself. “I am here to make it very clear to all Nigerians that if Secondus does not resign from the party, I am going to leave the party for him to eat the party and own the party. The governors, if they don’t wade into this matter right now, I assure Nigerians that within the next three, four days, my letter will be made public. Responding to questions on how many members of NWC are asking Secondus to resign, UdeOkoye said many more people are also going to resign in the NWC because of Secondus. “Right now I can tell you that not less than eight to ten persons within the NWC members are very aggrieved with Secondus but I have taken my stand because I cannot sit here and one man who ought to respect his age and respect the oath of the party that he has sworn to protect, to defend, to work for the interest of the party will keep making sure that the party does not go anywhere”, he added.
In a related development, the National leadership of the party said it will address the grievances of the seven Deputy National officers that quit their positions on Tuesday. In a short statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, after a meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, the party declared that it has already activated its internal conflict resolution mechanisms. Part of the statement reads: “The National Working Committee of our great party at its meeting today received the notice of the resignation from deputies who are elected members of the National Executive Committee.” “The meeting of the National Working Committee and the deputies immediately took place to dialogue on the issues that were raised. “The party will look into the grievances raised by members of NEC as well as members of the National Working Committee. “The internal conflict resolution mechanism of our party has also been immediately activated to put these issues behind us. “We call on all the leaders, stakeholders, and members of our great party to remain calm as we collectively resolve these issues.”
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