PDP Crisis Deepens As Secondus, Wike Differ On Peace Terms
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PDP Crisis Deepens As Secondus, Wike Differ On Peace Terms

NEC to decide embattled chairman’s fate

Mark panel may meet Secondus, NWC

The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have worsened following a disagreement between the two main gladiators – Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the suspended National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus – over a peace term proposed by the governor.

The governor, in the peace plan he gave the eight-man reconciliation panel headed by Chief David Mark, insists that Secondus must quit as national chairman; his tenure expires on October 31; he can no longer attend meetings of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), National Executive Council (NEC) Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Caucus henceforth; and should withdraw his case at the Kebbi State High Court which had restored him to his position as PDP chairman.

But the embattled chairman and his backers regard the conditions as “awkward, one-sided and unacceptable.”

Secondus is said to believe strongly that his mandate remains sacrosanct and that his suspension by court from his ward in Rivers State is illegal.

He is also of the firm conviction that no individual is empowered by the PDP Constitution to remove a party officer and that Wike cannot excise him (Secondus) from NEC, NWC other statutory meetings of organs of the party.

While he is willing to withdraw court case, Wike must show concrete commitment to peace by withdrawing the court case against him (Secondus) too.

With both sides unwilling to compromise, party sources hinted last night that it was becoming obvious that the only option left for the aggrieved parties to settle the crisis is litigation.

Elders of the party are however said to be worried that leaving the crisis for the courts to resolve could cost PDP the 2023 elections.

Consequently, the Mark committee may meet with Secondus and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) tomorrow or Tuesday.

The panel is expected to submit its report on or before the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on Thursday in Abuja.

The NEC is expected to take a final decision on the crisis in the party.

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The Nation gathered that Wike gave his terms when he met with David Mark’s committee in Port Harcourt.

According to a source, the governor restated his commitment to peace and stability in the party but declared that Secondus should not be allowed to be part of the meetings of the NWC, NEC, Board of Trustees and National Caucus meetings.

He insisted on October 31 as the date for the National Convention.

He said if the conditions were met, PDP’s problems and cases would be over.

The source said: “The governor listed his terms which he felt will help resolve the PDP crisis and pave the way for a smooth, free and fair national convention.

“After listening to his terms, members of the panel promised to get back to the governor.

“But his options were untenable to Secondus and his backers because they amount to technical removal of the PDP chairman.

“They alleged that Wike has not conceded anything other than lip service commitment to end legal disputes.”

A source in Secondus’ camp dismissed Wilke’s terms as unacceptable.

The source said: “He is desperate to ensure that Secondus does not complete his term in office. And we know he has no genuine case in court. The so-called restraining order is unfortunate; it cannot stand.

“On our part, Secondus is willing to withdraw his case in court but without conditions. Wike has not shown any commitment to peace.

“A few days after Mark panel’s members left him, Secondus was suspended at the Ward level in a kangaroo manner when the PDP constitution is clear on the procedures to follow.

“The reality is that the intervention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria has made Wike’s camp to be jittery. No court will issue an ex parte order again or recklessly.

Source: Tribune

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