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PDP crisis lingers as a Kebbi Court of coordinate jurisdiction reinstates Secondus

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) crisis took another interesting turn late last night as Justice Nusirat. I. Umar, a vacation Judge of the Kebbi State High Court has restored the embattled National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus to his position.

The Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Party, Elder Yemi Akinwomi, had assumed leadership of the PDP in an acting capacity, following a restraining order on Secondus by a court of coordinate jurisdiction in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, forcing Akinwomi to suspend indefinitely, the already scheduled National Working Committee (NWC) meeting of the party.

But regardless of the latest development, the party has insisted that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party would hold Saturday, adding also that the national convention would still hold in October as earlier recommended.

A former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who surfaced at the Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting yesterday, however, offered excuses for his long absence from the party, saying he was away at the Cambridge University for a Master’s degree in International Relations.

Prince Uche Secondus

However, in a suit brought before her in Birinin Kebbi, the state capital in case KB/AC/M170/2021, Justice Umar said she was satisfied after reading the affidavit of the respondents that an interim order should be granted on the purported suspension of Secondus pending the determination of the case.

“An order of this Honourable court granting leave to the first respondent (Uche Secondus) to continue exercising all the constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of PDP (second defendant) as enshrined in both 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the People’s Democratic Party’s constitution pending the hearing and final determination of applicant’s motion on notice. ”

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Three concerned members of the party, Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Mohammed and Bashar Suleman were the claimants/applicant in the case while Secondus and the PDP were the defendants/respondents.

Secondus was suspended on Monday by a Degema High Court in Rivers State. The restraining order was given by Justice O. Gbasah. When contacted on the new order last night, Secondus in a brief chat with THISDAY, confirmed that he had secured the stay order from the Kebbi State High Court.

However, addressing newsmen after the NWC meeting, yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, the leadership crisis between the deputy national chairman for the south, Akinwonmi and the deputy national chairman for north, Senator Suleiman Nazif was over and the party was more than united than before.

But he said the NEC of the party would hold this Saturday, while the October national convention date was still feasible.

Also, confirming the October national convention date, Akinwonmi said the national convention would elect new NWC members.

“PDP is not dead. When they see us hugging ourselves, they will know that the PDP is not dead,” he said, while also commending the Chairman of the BoT, Walid Jibrin, for acting swiftly to resolve the leadership crisis in the NWC between himself and Nazif.

He said, “I thank the BoT chairman for his tireless efforts. We invited the BoT chairman to our NWC meeting and he observed our meeting. I am a man of peace. Our national convention will hold in October as earlier directed by the expanded BoT. Our NEC will hold on Saturday.

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“We will conduct our convention and have to brand new officers. I am a child of circumstances. Let us work together. I have health challenges. I am a PDP to the core. I have not left for any other party and in unity, we shall succeed. I have not left for any other party.”

Jibrin, while speaking, said the meeting of the Board of Trustees was summoned to ensure that sanity returned to the party, recalling what happened in the last BoT meeting that necessitated yesterday’s meeting

He explained that the PDP NWC invited him to attend the reconciliation meeting where he saw Akinwonmi and Nazif embraced each other and supported him.

On his part, Atiku, who explained away his long absence from the party said, “I was away. I went to school. I went to Cambridge, where I read Masters in International relations. I thanked former President Obasanjo for recommending me to Cambridge University”

He commended the NWC for settling down to resolve the power tussle and the BoT for providing leadership, saying, “Now, we are in opposition.”

Former Senate President and PDP Reconciliation Committee Chairman, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended the BoT chairman for calling the meeting and for Akinwonmi for accepting to lead the party at this moment.

He also commended the NWC for resolving their leadership crisis, stating that the speed with which the party resolved its crisis would show Nigerians that the PDP was ready to lead the country.

Meanwhile, the PDP governors after their meeting last night in Abuja, have supported the NWC and BoT for NEC on Saturday and the national convention in October.

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Chairman of the PDP governors and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwul said the decision was in line with the earlier position of the governors and the expanded BoT of the party.

Interestingly, however, the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Umar Tsauri, had hinted earlier before a Kebbi court restored Secondus, that the embattled PDP chairman would assume his office whenever the court order that restrained him was vacated. (This Day)

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