Editor's note: It is a known fact that the major opposition in Nigeria - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is enmeshed in crisis over the defection of some prominent members to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In this exclusive interview with Legit.ng, a former senior special assistant to vice president Namadi Sambo on media and publicity, Umar Sani, reacted to the crisis rocking the party, the alleged sacking of the party's chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, among other issues.
There seems to be some rumble within the PDP, what is really happening?
The PDP is a family with all members working to ensure the party is vibrant and fully accepted by Nigerians to enable it to claim its rightful place in the nation’s political landscape. A strong political party like the PDP cannot exists and function effectively without some hiccups.
Some over ambitious persons believe the party belongs to them and are determined to wrest it away for their political gains but such move is being resisted by the well-meaning party faithful. The rumble will soon end, a positive course of action by the party stakeholders will restore it to the path of honour, peace, progress and prosperity.
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Prince Uche Secondus is rumoured to have resigned from his position what is the true situation of things?
Prince Uche Secondus is and still remains the national chairman of the party. What is happening is that some elements within the party went to a high court in Degema in Rivers state to obtain an ex parte order purporting to suspend the national chairman requesting him not to parade himself as such.
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Chapter 10 of the PDP constitution has removed the discipline of our party's National Executive Committee (NEC) members from all strata of the party and placed their discipline only in the hands of NEC. So their purported action is not only unconstitutional, null, and void and of no effect, it is rather dead on arrival. However, such an order was uncalled for but it was given anyway.
Prince Uche Secondus sought relief in a High Court in Kebbi state while the traducers went to a Calabar high court to restrain him from presiding over the NEC meeting held last Saturday. Since an exparte order has a lifespan of 7 days which expires on the 2nd of September and with the intervention by the chairman of the National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of the Federation to curb the seeming embarrassment the issuance of such orders is causing the judiciary he summoned all the states involved for intercession.
It must be noted that several Chief Justices of Nigeria ( CJN) have said over time that courts should only issue exparte orders where events could create an irreversible situation. To restrain a man elected at a party convention from parading himself as party chairman when he had been doing so unchallenged for more than three years is a heresy.
So what is the way forward for the party especially as 2023 is approaching?
I am confident and optimistic that the party will bounce back. Secondus should be allowed to complete his tenure and if he so wishes to recontest he should be allowed to do so in pursuit of his fundamental human rights.
If he submits himself to the national convention the party may accept or reject him but certainly not through clandestine means or the conspiracy of a few, that way the party will regain its glory and strategise for the takeover of power from the non-performing ruling APC.
Secondus resists PDP's order, reveals those who can suspend him
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Prince Secondus reacted to reports of his suspension by the Rivers state chapter.
It was reported that while speaking on Wednesday, September 1, the PDP boss through his media aide, Ike Abonyi, said only members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) have the power to suspend him.
Abonyi who spoke on his principal's behalf cited Article 59(3) of the party's constitution to back his position that only the NEC can remove him and any other national officer from office.