…as Wike team retreats to drawing board
There are indications that the battle is not over for the reinstated National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, as the forces of his main traducer, Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has not given let.
Top sources revealed that Wike, in concert with Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, has reserved a technical knockout for Secondus ahead of the October Convention of the party, having begun shopping for his urgent replacement.
Meanwhile, a tentative date of October 30 to 31, 2021 has been submitted for its national convention of the party.
The decision to submit the provisional date was taken by the National Caucus of the PDP.
Tambuwal, who is Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, announced this after the National Caucus meeting of the party in the nation’s capital Abuja on Friday.
“We have just risen from our 40th meeting of the national caucus of our great party, the PDP, where we have resolved to submit to the NEC of our party tomorrow recommendation from the national working committee for the National Convention of our party, to be held between Friday, 30th of October to Saturday, 31st of October,” Tambuwal said as he read the resolution of the caucus meeting.
He added, “The venue will be determined tomorrow by NEC.
“Also, this distinguished body had empanelled eight distinguished leaders of our party under the able leadership of ex-President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, to interface with our leaders who are involved in these issues of court, so that all court matters can be now withdrawn and then for normalcy to continue to return to the party.
“I appeal on behalf of this body to all well-meaning members of our party in the interest of the party to shield their sword and let us embrace peace because Nigeria is waiting for PDP, and I believe that we have the capacity to resolve whatever issues we have internally.”
In the Secondus case, however, a interim injunction by a Rivers State High Court restraining him from parading himself as party chairman was on Friday set aside by another court of same jurisdiction, in far-away Kebbi.
A Kebbi State High Court on Friday granted an order restoring Secondus as National Chairman.
Three applicants-Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Muhammad, and Bashar Suleman-filed an ex parte application dated August 25, 2021 at the Kebbi State High Court for an order for stay of execution of the suspension order issued by the Rivers State High Court.
Ruling after the applicants’ lawyer, Ibrahim Jibril, argued the application on Thursday, the judge, Nusirat Umar, granted leave to Mr Secodus to return to office as the national chairman of the PDP “pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion on notice.”
Secondus and the the PDP were sued as the defendants in the suit.
“That an order of interim injunction staying the purported suspension of the first respondent pending the determination of the substantive motion on notice No. KB/HC/M.170/2021 now pending before this Honourable Court.
“An order of this honourable court granting leave to the first respondent (Uche Secondus) to continue exercising all the constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of People Democratic Party (second defendant) as enshrined in both the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the People Democratic Party’s Constitution pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion on notice,” the enrolled order of the court read in part.
The earlier order restraining Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the PDP came amidst the call for his removal by some governors and party members criticising him for the growing defection of their colleagues and members to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The leadership crisis deepened on Tuesday with two of Mr Secodus’ deputies laying claim to his seat.
Not until Thursday when the party leaders unanimously took a stand, both the Deputy National Chairman (South), Yemi Akinwonmi and his counterpart from the North, Sulieman Nazif, had released separate statements quoting sections of the party constitution that purportedly gave them right to step in Mr Secondus’ office.
The PDP, through its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, later disclosed that Akinwonmi had been picked by the party’s organ as the acting chairman.
He also confirmed the rescheduling of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) for Saturday.