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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, and the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, allegedly clashed at the party’s Board of Trustees meeting that took place on Thursday in Abuja.
The meeting was convened by the BoT to resolve the crisis facing the party as a result of internal disagreement within the hierarchy of the party.
The crisis rocking the opposition deepens as political bigwigs in the party jostle for shares of its structure ahead of the 2023 polls.
On Thursday, reports were rife that Secondus was battling to retain his chairmanship position as Wike spearheaded moves to ensure his removal before the party’s national convention, Punch reports.
Secondus’ opponents were said to have anticipated that he would install his loyalists as members of the convention committee, thus paving the way for his re-election.
It was also alleged that Tuesday’s resignation of seven members of the PDP National Executive Council was part of the moves to oust Secondus and set up a caretaker committee, which would organise the next national convention.
The seven national officers of the party who resigned included the Deputy National Financial Secretary, the Deputy Legal Adviser, the Deputy National Auditor, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, the Deputy Women Leader and the Deputy Organising Secretary.
However, the PDP BoT members, at a meeting on Thursday presided over by its Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, insisted that Secondus should be allowed to complete his tenure, which would soon end.
The board members, according to sources, faulted what they termed as uncomplimentary remarks by some party leaders, including Wike, against the National Working Committee, while condemning the way the NWC handled crises in some state chapters of the party.
Incidentally, both the Rivers governor and the PDP national chairman are from the same state.
Wike was also a major backer of Secondus when he was elected as the party’s national chairman less than four years ago.
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Wike, a major financier of the party, attended the meeting as a BoT member.
His arrival at the meeting was said to have taken attendees by surprise as he was not a regular attendee at any of the party’s functions, apart from the PDP Governors’ Forum.
The governor was also accused by some people of being behind the resignation of some of the national officers of the party.
“His presence, which was not expected, despite his being a PDP BoT member, came as a surprise to many, but not to those of us who are followers of events in the party,” a member of the party’s NWC said.
The source, who is also a member of the BoT, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wike, in his remarks, was angry at some unnamed members of the party, who he said labelled him the party’s “Father Christmas.”
The source said, “Holding a magazine where he (the governor) said he was described as a Father Christmas, he said when he single-handedly paid the legal fees and other matters in the case that removed Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the party and rescued it from him, nobody called him such a name.
“He said he had been paying the rent for the Legacy Building (PDP Presidential Campaign office in Abuja), yet nobody described him using such language. He said if he was not a party man, he could probably have used such money to also marry four wives. He also said he had not told anyone that he wanted to be the presidential candidate of the party in 2023 as insinuated in some quarters.”
Wike was also said to have paid the salaries of some of the staff members of the party, while other governors and influential members felt unconcerned.
The source disclosed that Wike also accused Secondus of polarising the PDP Governors’ Forum as some of its members were behind the national chairman, while others were with the governor.
As soon as he ended his speech, Wike was said to have made an attempt to leave the meeting, but Secondus, according to the source, said it would be wrong for the governor to leave without hearing from him.
“If you attack me, I will attack you!” Wike was said to have fired back at Secondus. This remark was said to have made attendees to laugh hilariously.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.