Leadership crisis: Tension  in APC, PDP camps


…PDP Govs’ meeting deadlock

…I will not resign— Secondus

…heavy security personnel at APC National Secretariat

By Blessing Wika, Abuja

The leadership crisis in All Progressive Congress and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took another dimension on Monday following increasing agitation by members to champion new leadership to run affairs of both political parties.

Certain support groups and caucus in the House of Representatives called on the  National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus to resign from office to save the opposition party from collapse.

While in the APC, there was palpable fear and panic among staff of the ruling APC due to the presence of heavily armed security personnel at the national secretariat of the party.

Sources explained to Nigerian NewsDirect that Governor Mai Mala Buni-led leadership remains on the firm ground notwithstanding the position of those opposed to his continuous stay in office.

Our correspondent gathered that  governors of the PDP could not agree on the fate of the embattled National Chairman of the party despite a six-hour long meeting.

On Monday, the governors held a meeting at the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, but were unable to find a way out of the lingering leadership crisis following persistent calls for Secondus’ resignation.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Sokoto state governor and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, expressed the readiness of the governors to continue the meeting until the Secondus’ issue was resolved

He said, “We discussed extensively on matters of the moment concerning our party and we have collectively resolved to continue to work together in unity.

“This meeting will continue tomorrow (Tuesday) with other stakeholders. Very soon, Nigerians, and indeed all of you, will hear our resolution.

“But we are working towards resolving all issues, as a family. By the grace of God, we are going to achieve that.”

The governors received the position of six National Working Committee and the members of the party who had earlier appended their signatures in demand for Secondus’ resignation but they were unable to take a definite stand on the matter.

Secondus, who arrived at the venue of the meeting hours after it had started, remained defiant that he would not resign from office.

“No, I am not going to resign,” he said when asked if he would throw in the towel.

The governors in attendance include Aminu Tambuwal, Oluseyi Makinde, Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Okowa, and Godwin Obaseki of Sokoto, Oyo, Rivers, Delta and Edo states respectively.

Others at the meeting include Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Adamu Fintiri, Bala Mohammed, Udoh Emmanuel, Douye Diri and Darius Ishaku, governors of Benue, Enugu, Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Taraba states respectively.

However, the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives called on the party’s National Chairman of the party to resign from office to save the opposition force from collapse.

The caucus made the call in a communique signed by the Chairman, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP- Rivers), on Monday in Abuja, at the end of an online meeting on the current crisis rocking the party.

Chinda said that the call followed the accusation of inept leadership against Secondus, which was frustrating party members across the country.

According to the lawmaker, the situation has resulted in mass exit of PDP members at the National Assembly from the party.

The caucus leader said that Secondus should give way for a new chairman that would pilot the affairs of the party for a fresh beginning.

“We urge the chairman to consider making the necessary personal sacrifice worthy of a leader in the party’s current and future interest, with a firm assurance of honourable regards and appreciation by the party leadership now and in years to come.

“This he will do by honourably resigning his position as party chairman immediately, to allow the party an early start,” Chnda said.

He said though Secondus had contributed notably to the party in the past, cogent accusations currently being levelled against his leadership far transcend personal issues.

Chinda urged the Board of Trustees (BOT), and the Governors Forum of the PDP, to ensure immediate and firm resolution of the current challenges facing the party.

According to him, this is to enable a re-engineering, re-focusing process that will restore party members and millions of other Nigerians’ hope and confidence in the PDP, as an alternative to the APC.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP on Monday said he will not resign his position.

Secondus said this in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr Ike Abonyi, in Abuja.

The national chairman also said that so far nothing warranted his resignation from the party position

He said, “Those tiny minority calling for my resignation should come clean and tell party members across the country my offense why I should resign.”

Secondus said that he would remain focused and committed to the ideals of the party which he swore to protect and defend upon his election to lead the party 44 months ago.

Our correspondent observed that a detachment of heavily armed police and department of security services (DSS) personnel positioned themselves at strategic locations within the precinct of the party secretariat in Abuja.

A source stated  that the presence of the security personnel was preempted by the rumour that aggrieved members of the party had perfected the plot to storm the party secretariat to unleash mayhem.

APC’s caretaker secretary Senator James Akpanudoedehe, who spoke to reporters, explained that the measure was aimed at protecting lives and properties in the party secretariat.

“The police is here to strengthen the leadership of Governor Buni, the caretaker chairman of the APC What do I mean by that? Whenever you read a security situation, when you have a security report that we are privy to, it is incumbent on our part to strengthen it so that we can protect you and the properties of APC,” he said.

“APC cannot be embarrassed because it has the national government. So we have to take measures to forestall any happening. We cannot underestimate security reports. You cannot play down on it. When you have a security report, you can’t take laws into your hands. You don’t expect us to call thugs to defend the secretariat of the party.

“So the right thing to do is to invite the police and the SSS who gave us the report that a  certain thing may happen. It is a measure to protect your properties, including your lives. You are media people. If there is a protest and somebody is being killed, that would be big news. Nobody wants that somebody has been shot here. It is our responsibility as managers of this party to put measures to protect lives and properties.”