Saturday, September 25, 2021

PDP in disarray as National Executive Committee members resign amidst corruption probe

The party’s executives want chairman Uche Secondus to resign to help the party better reposition ahead of 2023 general elections.

• August 3, 2021
National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus

Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been thrown into disarray as plots to remove National Chairman Uche Secondus thicken amid allegations of corruption.

Two party officials confirmed to Peoples Gazette on Tuesday that National Secretary Umar Tsauri has already packed his belongings out of his office at Wadata Plaza, the party’s national headquarters, in readiness for an impending fallout.

Seven national executives of the party had earlier tendered their resignation letters to Mr Tsauri, The Gazette also understands.

The Gazette learnt that the seven officers who resigned are the deputy national financial secretary, deputy national auditor, deputy women leader, deputy national publicity secretary, deputy legal adviser, and deputy national organising secretary.

They hinged their resignation on the inept leadership of Mr Secondus, asking him to immediately relinquish his position as the party’s national chairman.

The aggrieved executives further accused the Secondus-led National Working Committee of not working for the good of the party, adding that governors of the party have detached themselves from the party as a result of the indiscretions of the NWC.

The officers also cited financial mismanagement as part of what informed their decision to resign from the party’s NWC.

In February, the party’s audit department accused Mr Secondus of financial impropriety.

National Auditor Adamu Mustapha, in a memo to other NWC members, alleged that Mr Secondus mismanaged N10 billions generated in the last four years.

Mr Mustapha further accused Mr Secondus of refusing his department access to all the party’s financial transactions since 2017.

Also S.K.E. Udeh-Okoye the national youth leader, in a broadcast on Tuesday, said Mr Secondus lacked managerial capacity to manage the party, adding that many departments did not function as they ought to under the embattled chairman.

Calling on the founding members and governors to prevail on Mr Secondus to resign, the youth leader threatened to dump the party if Mr Secondus remained as the party‘s chairman in the next four days.

The Gazette also learnt that the party’s NWC members at an emergency meeting on Tuesday urged Mr Secondus to resign to help the party better reposition ahead of the general election in 2023.

They pleaded with Mr Secondus to yield to the calls of party faithfuls by stepping down as the chairman of PDP.

Mr Secondus has recently fallen out with his erstwhile benefactor and influential governor Nyesom Wike. 

The Rivers State governor, who railed against powerful forces to emplace Mr Secondus as the party’s topmost official, has been launching scathing attacks at his former ally.

Mr Wike called Mr Secondus a “liar”, blaming him for the party’s recent woes at the birthday celebration of an ex-Cross River governor Liyel Imoke. Mr Secondus however refrained from joining issues with him.

Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesman, could not be reached for comments. Messages sent to his phone by The Gazette were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.

Editor’s Note: This report has been updated to correct the PDP body that is in crisis. It is the National Executive Committee, not the National Working Committee.

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