Leaders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from its marathon meeting yesterday in Abuja and stopped every move to remove the party’s chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, prematurely.
The meeting which was convened to resolve the leadership crisis which had engulfed the party in the last few weeks, leading to agitation for Secondus’ exit was attended by PDP governors, members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), national assembly lawmakers, some former governors, former ministers and other senior members of the party.
Prior to the meeting, it was gathered that party elders including former senate presidents, David Mark, Iyorchia Ayu and Pius Ayim, as well as ex-governors Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun) held a series of meetings from late Monday night till early hours of Tuesday before arriving at a win-win situation for rival groups in the party.
At the joint meeting of the stakeholders, the party resolved the leadership crisis, saved Secondus from being removed from office even though he had to trade his second term ambition away.
The stakeholders also approved the suggestion to hold a national convention in October 2021 as well as proposed a national executive committee meeting for some time next week, where other pending issues would he addressed.
They also appealed to all parties to sheath their sword “in the greater interest of the PDP and the need to rescue Nigeria from the avoidable national malaise and drift occasioned by the APC administration.”
Addressing journalists in Abuja after the meeting, chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal who read a communiqué said the party’s leaders appealed to all the combatants to sheathe their swords in the interest of the PDP and Nigeria.
The communiqué reads:
1. The PDP Stakeholders held a meeting on Tuesday 10th August, 2021, at Wadata Plaza, Abuja on the recent developments in the PDP.
2. There were extensive consultations with all major stakeholders in the party including the governors, members of the board of trustees, former presiding officers and current principal officers and leaders from the national assembly, former governors, former ministers, and indeed other leaders of the Party with a view to bringing all tendencies within the party together in view of the urgent task facing the party as the only viable vehicle to checkmate the abysmally poor governance of the APC led federal government.
3. The meeting deliberated extensively on the issues thrown up and resolved as follows:
a. That the Constitution, traditions and practices of the Party should be strictly adhered to in finding solutions to any problems.
b. That all parties should sheath their sword in the greater interest of the PDP and the need to RESCUE Nigeria from the avoidable National malaise and drift occasioned by the APC administration.
c. That all processes leading to an early National Convention in October be immediately activated by relevant Party organs, especially National Executive Committee (NEC).
d. That the Party should redouble efforts to provide a credible alternative leadership for Nigeria as it still remains the only hope for the Nigerian people for good governance.
e. The meeting requested the NEC to immediately constitute a Zoning Committee for Party Offices and another Committee for National Elective Offices.
f. The meeting expressed appreciation to Party elders for their commitment and wisdom in handling Party affairs.
g. We shall overcome and restore peace, security and development once again to Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, Tambuwal described speculations that some of his colleagues were plotting to leave the PDP as false.
He said, “You can see clearly that 13 over 13 of your governors, your ambassadors are in this meeting, fully committed to not only resolving the issues at hand, but also working assiduously towards delivering good governance in our respective states and moving our party forward.
“Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, we have resolved, we are committed to remaining in the PDP. Disregard any rumour, every rumour that any of these distinguished leaders is going anywhere.
“We are in the PDP. We are going to remain in the PDP and by the grace of God, who shall be working together to salvage Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki who briefed the earlier had said the party’s target was to register 40 million Nigerian as members.
“Our target is to register 40 million Nigerians as members of the PDP and once we achieve that, we shall win every election landslide. Going forward and there will be no basis to cheat us as was done in the past,” said Obaseki who is the party’s e-registration chairman.
He announced that Taraba, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Ekiti and Osun states would be used as pilot states.
Also speaking earlier before the meeting moved into closed-door session, Secondus said no matter the challenges, the PDP was determined to come out stronger because it has a committed leadership and followers whose interest was the welfare and well-being of Nigerians.