Respite came the way of embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus, as governors elected under the party’s platform and party leaders resolved to bring the national convention of the party forward to October instead of December when the tenure of the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership would expire.
In what seemed to be a soft landing and avert moves to force him to resign from office, the governors and other stakeholders of the party resolved that a national convention planning committee be immediately set up to begin the process of the convention by October.
The committee will be ratified by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party next week.
It was also agreed that the zoning committee for the party should also be constituted by the NEC as well.
The party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) had set up a committee comprising governors and other stakeholders to deliberate on moves to sack Secondus.
The plot which was spearheaded by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, was aimed at stopping Secondus from recontesting the chairmanship position.
But after their meeting of the PDP governors on Monday, the expanded BoT meeting was held yesterday at the national secretariat of the party.
Our correspondent gathered that the resolution to bring the convention to October was the icebreaker for the Wike and Secondus camps.
A source at the meeting yesterday confided in our correspondent that Secondus had tried to convince the party leaders that holding the convention in October might not be feasible because congresses have not been held in some states.
His suggestion that the convention be moved to November was turned down by the BoT members.
It was however gathered that moves to stop incumbent NWC members from seeking reelection were contentious against the backdrop of fears of possible litigations.
But rising from the meeting, the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who disclosed the resolutions of the party stakeholders said, “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.
“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.
“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.
“That all processes leading to an early National Convention in October be immediately activated by relevant Party organs, especially National Executive Committee (NEC).
“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.
“The meeting requested the NEC to immediately constitute a Zoning Committee for Party Offices and another Committee for National elective Offices.
“The meeting expressed appreciation to Party elders for their commitment and wisdom in handling Party affairs.
“We shall overcome and restore peace, security and development once again to Nigeria.”
Speaking earlier at the meeting, chairman of the BoT, Sen Walid Jibrin, urged the party leaders to close ranks and work in the interest of the party.
He said, “This meeting has been called at the instance of the BoT in order to find a solution to our problem affecting our party. That is why we have invited the governors and I am very happy to say all the 13 governors are here with us.
“It is very encouraging. We have also invited NASS, former governors, former ministers and NWC to this very important meeting. The problem affecting the party should not be allowed to continue.
“Whatever we can do today we must try all that we can to solve the problem of this party. We should put away personal interest and discuss for the benefit of the party because if you look at the other party they are one their way out and they are waiting for us. If we take a decision today there will be jubilation all over Nigeria”.
On his part, Secondus said PDP belongs to everyone and “it can reinvent itself.”
He underscored the process of the e-registration process embarked on by the party, noting that it would help to galvanise support for the party.
Meanwhile, a group yesterday staged an anti-Secondus protest at the party secretariat.
The protesters under the aegis of Save PDP Group re-mobilised and gathered at the main gate of the secretariat.
After their leaders addressed them they marched along Dalaba Street in the Wuse Zone 5 area hosting the Wadata Plaza edifice of the PDP.
As they dispersed, another group sympathetic to Secondus stormed the party office calling for four more years for the national chairman whose tenure expires in December.
They bore placards lauding his success in the office including initially midwifing the return to PDP of Adamawa, Bauchi, Oyo, Zamfara, Imo and the Edo States.
PDP Targets 40million New Members Through E-registration – Obaseki
Meanwhile chairman of the PDP e-registration exercise and governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has disclosed that the party targets 40 million Nigerians to register as members of the party.
Obaseki who disclosed this yesterday at the BoT meeting, said the exercise which was launched on Monday has already recorded over 10000 new members to the party.
He said, “Our target is to register 40million Nigerians as members of PDP and once we achieve that we shall win every election landslide going forward and there will be no bases to cheat us as was done in the past.
“I want to reiterate that the process of e-registration is local, it is meant for us leaders at the ward level and at the local government level to own our party the PDP. Every leader must now show us their followers by registering their followers as members of the party, PDP.
“Once you have registered and have completed the process, your party card will be printed here at the party Secretariat and sent to the ward for distribution to members of the party.
“As of today, we are launching a pilot of the resignation exercise using the following states as pilot: Adamawa state, Ekiti, Osun where we have almost 250,000 new voters registered mostly by our party in the ongoing CVR exercise. The whole idea is to make sure that the bulk of those new voters are members of our party and will work for our party in the upcoming election in Osun State.
“The other states are Taraba State, Anambra, Enugu and Edo State. We will run a pilot from today till Sunday this week and from Monday next week, we shall commence a full national rollout”.