The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is presently enmeshed in a convoluted crisis which – according to inside sources – was precipitated by an overriding pursuit of personal interest by party big wigs.
Unfortunately, the crisis – if not well-managed – could prove to be, the sources noted, the party’s biggest undoing.
According to Sunday Independent sources, the internal wrangling in the PDP, which once described itself as the biggest party in Africa party, has its roots in the political manoeuvres being orchestrated by party gladiators ahead of 2023.
It was gathered that the battle to remove the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, is intended to pave the way for some politicians ahead of the 2023 presidential election and also to ensure that he doesn’t preside, nominate, or appoint members of committee for the national convention due to hold in December.
Aside this, the battle is also to ensure that he doesn’t fulfill his ambition of coming back for a second term as National Chairman of the party for some reasons.
But what began like a joke soon snowballed into a national row of immense proportion by Tuesday when about seven national officers put in their resignations while some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) threatened to resign, citing bad treatment and incompetence in the management of the affairs of the party.
Even though they have recanted their initial moves to resign, it was reported that those members who earlier put in their resignations and others who threatened to resign were financially induced by an influential governor.
Secondus, according to some party members at the national secretariat, who was plotting to come back for another term, had not been managing the party very well.
The party members claimed that Secondus’ handling of the party’s funds was not transparent, and that there was no proper documentation.
The sources added that no one could actually account for how the party’s money was spent, including money realized from elections, especially from the purchase of nomination and expression of interest forms, amongst others.
It was also gathered that part of this was what the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, narrated during the Board of Trustees peace meeting held on Thursday to address the crisis rocking the party.
According to a source at the meeting, Wike explained how he had been spending money on the party.
Some staff of the party agreed with Wike’s submission, adding that the governor had been their saving grace with regard to salaries.
The staff told our correspondent that it was a lawmaker who paid their June and July salaries, while the party money was allegedly being mismanaged.
It was further gathered that Wike had expressed bitterness over the way things were being handled in the party, noting that issues concerning Secondus had polarized the PDP governors.
According to the source, each time Secondus’ matter was mentioned, the PDP governors would be divided.
The Source also revealed that Wike had said he brought Secondus as the National Chairman, but that Secondus had succeeded in dividing the governors who now find it difficult to speak with one voice.
A source close to the PDP Governors’ Forum gave credence to the submission by Wike, noting that while some governors supported his removal to give way to a caretaker committee to organize the party’s national convention, others said he should be allowed to complete the remaining three months, as the tenure of the present NWC would expire by December.
Perplexed by the lingering debate over Secondus, some stakeholders and staff of the party, who spoke with our correspondent, wondered why Secondus should be allowed to continue in office as National Chairman.
Although, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party had succeeded in setting up a committee to look into the crisis rocking the party, the question on the lips of many is, how far the committee can go in ensuring that peace returns and that the Secondus-led NWC is able to complete its tenure.
Observers are also concerned about the PDP governors that will meet on Monday – whether they would be able to speak with one voice, knowing that the ambitions of some of them are at stake.