NIGERIA’S main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing a crisis as two acting national chairmen have emerged following the suspension of the chairman Uche Secondus by a Rivers State high court.
On Monday, Justice Gbasam of the Degema Judicial Division vacation court sitting in Port Harcourt, granted an order restraining Prince Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the party. Subsequently the PDP split into two factions with two deputy chairmen Yemi Akinwonmi and Suleiman Nazif both claiming to be acting chairman.
Apparently, while Mr Akinwonmi was loyal to the Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike, Mr Nazif had the support of Prince Secondus. Governor Wike, who has been the party’s major benefactor of late, appears to have fallen out with Prince Secondus and wants him removed as chairman, which is what started the trouble in the first place.
Mr Akinwonmi, the PDP’s deputy national chairman, south, issued a statement declaring himself as the acting national chairman in the absence of Prince Secondus, citing Section 45 (2) of the PDP constitution. However, a few hours after he issued the statement, members of the party’s national working committee (NWC) under the leadership of Mr Nazif stormed the PDP national secretariat in the company of armed policemen.
Soon after a meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, Mr Nazif said: “Members of the NWC will recall that this morning, we were in possession of a valid court order from a high court in Degema, Rivers State, issuing an order removing Secondus as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as the national chairman of our great party. A court has also ordered that from August 23, 2021, Prince Uche Secondus should stop parading himself as the national chairman, the NWC hereby complies fully with the court order.
He then declared that he is taking full charge of the Peoples Democratic Party as chairman in an acting capacity. According to Mr Nazif, the PDP’s deputy national chairman, north, Mr Akinwonmi has been incapacitated and as not been attending the NWC meetings over the last nine months.