The recent postponement of the Kogi state governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier scheduled to hold on Thursday, September 10, 2015 by the National Working Committee (NWC) has thrown up a deep-rooted crisis brewing within the National leadership of the party. The postponement, according to a statement by the party’s spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, was made, due to some logistic issues pertaining to the exercise.
However, many of the delegates who were already in Lokoja for the exercise have expressed worries about the true-origin of the postponement. A visibly worried delegate who asked to maintain anonymity shared that this may not be unconnected with the fresh crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party over who leads the former ruling party.
“The latest crisis has its roots in the clamor by the North to regain the chairmanship of the PDP, barely three months after Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu resigned from the position allowing for Prince Uche Secondus, his deputy from Rivers State, to assume office as acting national chairman in June.”
Some days ago, a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, who stormed the Wadata House headquarters of the PDP in Abuja had asked Secondus to vacate the seat, on the premise that the seat was meant to be occupied by the North.
Gulak told journalists on Tuesday that he had informed members of the National Working Committee of the PDP that Secondus should leave office immediately. He said he had submitted a letter to the NWC, informing the members that another person from the North-East should replace Mu’azu.
He said, “My visit was to bring in writing to the notice of the party my intention to replace the former National Chairman of the party, after his voluntary resignation”.
“The resignation of the former chairman was done voluntarily. And maybe due to the disastrous outing of the party in the last elections, he decided to resign as a man who wants to take responsibility for his actions”.
“The position of the constitution is that when a principal officer of the party resigns, the replacement should come from the zone from which the former person had come”, Gulak added.
Another delegate from Mopa Moro who shared the same belief as the earlier delegate said: “It now seems like the national chairman is bent on fully decimating the power of the North, wherein it has only two Governors in Gombe and Kogi, so that the PDP becomes a regional party of the South and thus checkmate the cries by those in the North for his position”
“The logistics of any primary elections are majorly handled by the State Working Committees. Even as at this morning, if there was any indication of non-readiness from the party, many of us wouldn’t have left our bases. The postponement of the elections is something out of the blues as you can see many of us discussing it now”.
“My real worry now with the postponed elections is that it sits well within the framework of a leadership that is ready to foster a candidate of its choosing on the party, knowing that appeals cannot be entertained in time before the time allowed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) elapses. The elections have been postponed till Monday, 14th of September, while the INEC deadline is Tuesday, 15th of September.”
“The decision is a terrible lose-lose situation for both the party and the aspirants”, she added.
“Any aspirant that loses in an unsatisfactory manner will not have time to appeal, while any aspirant that emerges as the candidate will continually be distracted by litigations well into the campaign season of the general elections. This postponement is just a recipe for disaster”.