Members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are plotting the removal of National Chairman Uche Secondus owing to lack of confidence in his ability to lead the party to victory in 2023, The Nation has learnt.
The plot gathered steam on Tuesday during a meeting of the PDP NWC. Sources at the meeting said many of the NWC members, during the tension-soaked meeting pushed for removal of Secondus, who has been having a running battle to remain in office.
A very reliable source at the meeting disclosed that the NWC members were unhappy with Secondus’ handling of issues in the party, which they said has not made the party play its role as a viable alternative or opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was gathered NWC members amongst other issues accused Secondus of not providing effective leadership to enable the party take advantage of what they consider as the poor leadership style of the APC to convince Nigerians to do away with the ruling party in 2023.
“Many of the NWC members are unhappy with him (Secondus). He has not lived up to expectations. And we’re afraid that our great party would not make the expected impact in 2023 if we retain Secondus as national chairman”, the source who did not want to be named told The Nation.
He stated that issues of financial impropriety and mismanagement were also raised against the chairman, whom he claimed had a hard time defending himself.
“There were also allegations of financial mismanagement brought against him. And we needed explanations, which we are yet to receive. There was so much tension, and it was clear many stakeholders in the party wanted Secondus out.
“He has been unable to manage the simmering crisis in the party, some chapters in the north are barely hanging on by a thread. Even in the south west, some prominent members are at war with each other, and the only reason the party has not imploded there is because of their strong faith in the party.
“Secondus has also failed to manage the situation. We think he just has to leave so we can reposition the party for 2023,” the highly placed source revealed.
He further revealed that a number of the party’s national executives also offered to resign from their positions so as not to be dragged down with the embattled national chairman.
Secondus may have incurred the wrath of the NWC members when he unilaterally lifted a suspension placed on some lawmakers at the House of Representatives under the party’s platform who had been sanctioned for the role they played in the emergence of Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the lower chamber as well as other minority officials.
The opposition PDP had nominated Kingsley Chinda for the position of minority leader and Chukwuka Onyema as Deputy Minority Leader. Yakubu Barde was nominated as Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola as Deputy Minority Whip by the PDP.
But in what was viewed as a betrayal, some members of the PDP backed Speaker Gbajabiamila to reject the PDP nominees and instead endorsed the emergence of Ndudi Elumelu and Toby Okechukwu as Minority and Deputy Minority leaders respectively. Gideon Gwani was picked as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
The action made the PDP slam suspension on Elumelu, Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid, a move that was reversed by Secondus without the approval of the NWC.
Secondus’ situation is said to be more precarious as he is not in the good books of the Rivers Governor, Nyesome Wike who is regarded as a kingmaker in the party.
The NWC Tuesday meeting, which was reportedly extended due to the heated debates around the removal of Secondus, came to an inconclusive end with the officials trying to calm tempers, as stakeholders kept insisting that Secondus must go, a situation that was said to have split the NWC.