THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, appears to be heading for another crisis, as members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, expanded leaders and other stakeholders have kicked against attempts by governors elected on the platform of the party to resurrect the Unity List which led to the emergence of the current national chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, in 2017.
Before last Tuesday’s meeting, where the stakeholders handed Secondus a two-month lifeline, some governors, members of the National Working Committee, NWC; House of Representatives Caucus and youths, mounted pressure on the embattled chairman to resign.
Vanguard gathered that the governors, who backed Secondus through the December 2017 Unity list before the National Convention, are calling for his ouster against the backdrop that, having invested in him to clinch the position, he was allegedly no longer loyal to them.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders at the last meeting were said to have complained that the then Unity List, produced by the governors, has resurfaced.
They argued that the reemergence of the list will continue to hunt and tear the party apart.
They also alleged that while many leaders were schemed out of the 2017 nomination process and convention, many aspirants were coerced by the governors to stepping down for their anointed candidate.
Some stakeholders, who spoke with Vanguard in confidence, said the governors continue to have their ways because they are major financiers of the party and could remove those perceived not to be loyal to them.
The stakeholders, who were not comfortable with the list, have vowed to work against a repeat of what happened in 2017.
They also expressed concern that manipulation of party delegates during conventions had always been easy because the governors allegedly foot their bills and other logistics.
Secondus came on board in 2017, with his four-year tenure to end December 6, 2021, but some governors and party leaders wanted his removal.
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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who was instrumental to his becoming the National Chairman, was alleged to be the one plotting the removal of Secondus.
As a soft landing for the embattled chairman, stakeholders of the party, comprising 13 Governors, BoT members, expanded caucus, other organs of the party, brought the national elective convention forward to October, which has to be ratified by the National Executive Committee, NEC.
Why we kicked against Unity List — BoT member
But a BoT member from the north, who spoke with Vanguard in confidence, faulted the emergence of the Unity List, saying it will lead to bad blood within the fold.
He said: “The meeting went well. At least we have been able to douse tension in the party and we have been able to stop what would have been a major calamity for the party if Secondus was forced to resign.
“My take and what some of the stakeholders are saying is that the 2017 Unity list is affecting the party, it created bad blood among the contenders and their supporters.
“I raised the issue with some stakeholders that the governors, who brought Secondus through the list, also want to remove him because they feel that he is no longer loyal to them and he may frustrate them ahead of 2023.”
Unity List haunting PDP — ex-NWC
Another member of BoT and former member of NWC, who is familiar with the Unity List said: “The crisis is partly because of the Unity List that took everyone, especially aspirants by surprise. The list has resurrected. The governors brought Secondus and they want to remove him, but we, as stakeholders, are with him hence, we came up with the Doctrine of Necessity that rather than wait till December, the Convention should hold October.
‘’Until the party funds itself and stakeholders come up and say no to this grip of the party, this kind of problem will still come up. We are not saying the governors are not critical to the party, but in taking this kind of decision, major stakeholders should be carried along.”
Unity list not good for PDP — Babatope
Also speaking, a former member of the PDP BoT and former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said the Unity List will lead to the hijack of the party.
Babatope said: “We have never objected to the Unity List as long as the list is geared towards winning elections.
‘’We do not want to take part in dismembering the party and as far as I am concerned, I am a member of the PDP and I will not join another party except the PDP. So, I wish the party the best.
So, I wish the party the best. As long as the Unity List is tampered with by people who have vested interest, it is a terrible thing for the party. All I k now is that the PDP must regroup to win future elections.”
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