The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governors Forum has asked the embattled acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus to hand over the leadership of the party to its National Secretary, Prof Adewale Oladipo, in what pundits observed to be the climax of a festering leadership crisis, following the party’s poor showing at the 2015 general elections.
The Forum also lampooned Ahmed Gulak, a former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, for declaring himself the chairman of the party and attempting to take over the party through the back door.
However, both Gulak and Chief Secondus have dared the PDP Governors Forum, promising not to leave the stage.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the PDP Governors Forum meeting late on Wednesday night in Abuja, the governors frowned at the refusal of Prince Uche Secondus to respect the judgment of an FCT High Court which last December ordered him to vacate office for some other person from the North East zone.
Chairman of the Forum, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who read cthe communiqué on behalf of his colleagues said, “We take cognizance of the judgment by the court in Abuja which ordered the acting chairman to vacate office for any other person from the North-East zone of Nigeria.
“Our party constitution has enough provisions for that and the necessary process has been put in motion.”
Mimiko added that “in recognizance of the judgment the court gave, we call on the National Secretary to take over the leadership of the party immediately and that is in line with the provisions of the PDP constitution.”
The governors also came down hard on Ahmed Gulak for daring to unilaterally declaring himself the new chairman of the party without recourse to the appropriate organs of the party.
“The invasion of the party headquarters today by Ahmed Ali Gulak who reportedly assumed the Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party is regrettable and condemnable.”
The governors explained that the issue of the chairmanship of the party will be resolved very soon, to enable someone from the North East complete the tenure of the last national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, who resigned after the woeful performance of the party in the last general election.
“The appropriate organs of the party will meet soonest to elect a national chairman of the party from the appropriate zone,” the Forum stated.
You can’t stop me – Gulak
Daring the Governors to stop him if they can, the self proclaimed National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak has explained why he forcefully assumed the office of the National Chairman without recourse delegate conference.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja yesterday, Alhaji Gulak explained that it was in compliance with the court judgement of December 16, 2015 which struck out the motion for the stay of execution as filed by the ousted Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
He revisited the judgement which clearly stated that, “within 14 days, my humble self (Gulak) or any other person from the North East geopolitical zone be appointed to replace Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, who resigned his position as the National Chairman of our party in 2015.”
He explained that his action was further justified following the expiration of the 14 days on 29th of December, 2015, coupled with the failure of the defendant to secure a stay of execution, and the deliberate refusal of the Prince Secondus to obey the court order by appointing him or anyone else from the North East geopolitical zone.
In his words: “Based on our sincere commitment and loyalty to our great party, we cannot continue to leave our party headless. Failure to assume duty as the National Chairman will obviously leave our party organs especially the National Working Committee, NWC, National Executive Committee, NEC and National Caucus improperly constituted as every meeting of these organs must, in accordance with our constitution, be chaired by the National Chairman.”
He explained that the struggle is not for selfish gains but for the party which must be repositioned for the task ahead.
“We must give back the party to the people who must at all times decide the way forward. My assumption of office is to prepare the group for the NEC of the party to meet and take the most appropriate decisions for the party. It should not been seen as a contention against anybody or group of persons. I crave the indulgence of the other NWC members to partner with me in our effort to pick up the pieces and rebuild the party,” he said.
He then announced the constitution of 11 man committee headed by Mr. Abdullahi Ohioma with the task of looking into the affairs of the party.
“It is revealed that most of the National Working Committee members who are involved in the mismanagement of the party funds are scared of the committee, while some of them mostly the Deputies welcome the idea and cooperating with the committee to unearth the disappearance of some funds especially election funds, sales of forms and permanent site building funds.”
I won’t go, Secondus tells PDP Govs
Similarly, the embattled acting National Chairman of party, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday called the bluff of the PDP Governors Forum, saying he will not relinquish the leadership of the party.
The Governors Forum had on Wednesday night at the end of its meeting in Abuja mandated the National Secretary, Prof Adewale Oladipo to take over the past leadership of the party following the FCT High Court judgment which sacked Secondus.
Reacting to the Governors Forum match orders, Secondus, through the National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, said that the Forum is not one of the constitutionally recognized organs of the parry.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the statutory organs of the party, the NWC, National Caucus, BoT and NEC will be meeting next week to deliberate on some developments, including the replacement from the North East of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, who resigned as the National Chairman of the party.
“The replacement will be in strict adherence to the provisions of the constitution of our great party as specified in section 47(6).
“Until then, the status quo remains;which means the Deputy National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus, remains as the Acting National Chairman.”
He further reiterated that, “all relevant stakeholders of our party, including the PDP Governor’s Forum, National Caucus and the Board of Trustees (BoT) as well as our leadership structures at all levels are united behind the current National Working Committee in the efforts to rebuild, reposition and strengthen our party for the challenges ahead.