Seven members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have resigned from their positions.
The officials resigned in separate letters to the National Secretary of the party, Umar Tsauri, on Monday.
Those who resigned are the Deputy National Financial Secretary, Gerald Irona; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Hassan Yakubu; Deputy National Legal Adviser, Ahmed Liman, and Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi.
Others are the Deputy National Woman Leader, Hadizat Umoru; Deputy National Auditor, Divine Arong, and another official who could not be identified at the time of this report.
The party’s National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobundu, a retired colonel, confirmed the resignation of the officials to journalists on Tuesday.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the spokesperson of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, on phone last night to ascertain the reason for the resignation of the seven officials, he said he would call this reporter back. He has yet to do so at the time of this report.
The National Youth Leader of the PDP, Udo Okoye, confirmed the resignation of the officials while speaking on Channels Television on Tuesday night.
Mr Okoye claimed the deputies were fed up with the leadership style of the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.
He said the officials were being marginalised and sidelined by the leadership of the opposition party.
“The reason is anchored on the management of the party,” he said.
“Our chairman is not managing the party that will lead us to victory in 2023. He is just looking for personal gains.
“So many governors of our party, so many members of our party in the National Assembly have left the party. Secondus is not doing what he is supposed to do. He did not make any attempt to do something.
“I don’t think he (Secondus) will lead us to victory in 2023.”
Mr Okoye had earlier issued a statement, on Tuesday, asking the national chairman to resign.
The national chairman asked Mr Okoye to leave him alone and “dance to the music of his sponsors.”
Okoye should leave Secondus alone.
“The National Youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon Udo Okoye has been advised to leave the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus alone and dance to the music of his sponsors,” Mr Secondus’ media aide, Ike Abonyi, said in a statement.
“The media office of the National Chairman has described as unfortunate the statement from the Party’s National Youth leader calling on the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus to resign from his position.
“The media office wonders why it took the National Youth leader three and half years before realizing that the National Chairman is incompetent or that he is enriching himself.
“The agenda of Hon. Udo okoye and his sponsors are to take this party back to Egypt but they have failed because the party is focused and unwilling to look back as they match towards regaining power.
“The party structure is intact and anybody who allows him or herself to fall to the inducement for an interim administration in the party will be disappointed because the stakeholders are not ready to go backwards any longer.
“The media office advised media houses to look out for anti-democratic operatives who think they can use money to destroy this party and play into the hand of the inept ruling party, the APC.”
What PDP constitution says
The current NWC members led by Mr Secondus were elected for a four-year tenure in 2017 and they would leave office in December this year.
The PDP is Nigeria’s main opposition. It was in power for 16 years at the federal level from 1999 to 2015 when it was defeated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Section 29 (1) of the PDP Constitution (as amended) lists the 12 members of the NWC who attend meetings.
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Chapters V section 35 to 45 spell out the functions of the substantive NWC members and their deputies.
The body is responsible for the day to day administration of the party.
It meets not less than once every fortnight at the instance of the chairman or at the instance of two-third of the members.
However, only the substantive members of the NWC attend its meeting. The deputies attend the meeting in the absence of the substantive officials and most of them do not have offices.
Since the formation of the party, the deputy officials have been asking to be allowed to attend the NWC meetings.