The reported crack in the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the conduct of state and local government congresses across about 26 states of the federation has been described as a hoax.
Also the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has been absolved of single-handedly conducting the congresses by influencing results in some cases and imposing candidates in some other without due consultation of majority of the NWC members and in total disregard to the constitution of the party.
A statement credited to an aide in the office of the PDP National Chairman advised party loyalists to disregard reports of unease within the party hierarchy as a result of the conduct of the said congresses.
The aide, Bisi Ezekiel, said: “Prince Secondus has neither run the party as his fiefdom or personal property nor divide the NWC to satisfy his personal aggrandizement.
“Recent reports in the media had it that some members of the party’s NWC had accused the National Chairman of becoming a de facto chairman who takes unilateral discussions in flagrant disobedience of party’s rules and constitution.”
Secondus was fingered in crises that engulfed some states chapters of the party prior to the said congresses as he was accused of not handling peace and reconciliation processes in troubled states matutedly but rather taking sides, thereby polarising the party..
National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, had in a report at the weekend distilled such allegations against the National Chairman, describing such as “spurious, unfounded and unsubstantiated”.
The party’s spokesman had also denied split in PDP hierarchy, especially in the NWC while insisting that “the PDP as at today is intact.”
According to Ezekiel, the congresses (local government congresses in 16 states and state congresses in 23 states) were successfully conducted which attest to the resoluteness of the Secondus-led NWC.
She said there has never been a time that the leadership of the party was so united than the present Secondus era because “the National Chairman is a team player, a listener and mobilizer”.
According to her, the insinuated crack was politically motivated by those who were not successful at the congresses.
However, she said there is no way there would not be clash of interest among gladiators in the states which gave rise to accusations and counter-accusations against and in support of the National Chairman.
While submitting that allegations against Secondus stemmed from unsettled internal crisis in a few of the state chapter of PDP, Ms Ezekiel admonished members that issues should not be blown out of proportion to the detriment of the party as party politics ahead of 2023 is becoming intensified.
The PDP National Executive Committee at its 88th meeting in Abuja approved the time table proposed by the NWC for the congress while sales of forms at the national secretariat began on February 5, 2020.
Congresses began at the local government level in early March while it was expected to start at the state level on March 27.
It was on record that some state congress committee members were already at their states of assignment when the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak became severe and they have to hurriedly returned to base on the party’s instruction in accordance with the order by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that social activities be suspended.
Now that the exercise had been successfully concluded in those states, the Ezekiel advised members to accept the outcome and see it as an opportunity for the PDP to quickly put its house in order, to re-strategise for competitive elections ahead of 2023 and to reposition PDP for taking over government at the national level.