IN a development that mirrored the chain of events that preceded the removal of former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman Uche Secondus has been suspended from the party (PDP) at his ward level.
In November 2019 Oshiomhole was suspended by the APC leadership in his Etsako Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State for alleged anti-party activities.
The development followed a protracted disagreement between Oshiomhole and Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki, who was then still a member of the APC. Obaseki was later reelected as governor on the platform of the PDP after he was denied the APC governorship ticket.
It was on the basis of Oshiomhole’s suspension at the ward level that an Abuja High Court in March 2020 ordered his suspension as APC national chairman.
Justice Danlami Senchi of the Abuja High Court ruled that Oshiomhole cannot remain APC national chairman after his suspension at the ward level of the party.
The Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC) was eventually dissolved, bringing an end to Oshiomhole’s time as national chairman, after a panel of the Court of Appeal in June 2020 dismissed his appeal against the order of the Abuja High Court which suspended him from office.
* Secondus going, going?
Although a court order had already restrained him from parading as national chairman of the PDP, the odds of Secondus’ removal from office has increased after he was suspended by the leadership of the party at his ward – Ward 5 in Ikuru town, Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike is spearheading the push for Secondus’ removal and it is believed that he masterminded the decision to suspend the PDP national chairman at the ward level.
The decision to suspend Secondus was taken at an extraordinary meeting which held at the PDP secretariat at Ikuru town, in Andoni LGA, on August 31.
Ward Chairman George Christopher who disclosed that 11 out of 17 executive members endorsed Secondus’ suspension from the party, claimed that the decision was based on the fact that Secondus had not attracted development to the ward despite his high political profile.
Secondus was equally accused of not being able to manage the party.
“The Ward executive of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ward 5, Ikuru town, and the leaders met on the 31st of August, 2021, to deliberate on issues that affect the party.
“Suspension of Prince Uche Secondus was done by the Ward executive after a duly constituted Ward meeting called by the Secretary on the instructions of the Chairman, according to the Constitution of our great party,” Christopher said while announcing the suspension on September 1.
The suspension at the ward level has compounded the problems being faced by Secondus in his quest to hold on to his position as PDP national chairman until December, when the party was originally scheduled to hold its national convention, where national officers would be elected.
Secondus intends to seek reelection for a second term at the convention.
However the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) had at a meeting on August 28 approved a recommendation of stakeholders, including the PDP Governors Forum (PGF) and the Board of Trustees (BOT), that the national convention be held on October 31.
The NEC also resolved that the convention would hold in Abuja.
Secondus had earlier been suspended, and reinstated, by the orders of a Rivers State High Court and Kebbi State High Court, respectively, but he could not preside over the August 28 NEC meeting after a Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar barred him from returning to office as the national chairman of the party.
The court presided by Justice Edem Kooffreh granted the interim order while ruling on a motion ex parte filed by Enang Wani against Secondus and the PDP.
Ruling on an ex parte application numbered HC/240/2021, the judge granted an order of interim injunction restraining Secondus from assuming the office of the national chairman of the PDP while seeking reelection, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Secondus was also barred from presiding over any meeting of the party until the motion is heard.
In the same vein, the court restrained Secondus from attending the meetings of any organs of the PDP in the capacity of national chairman and any other form.
He was also restrained from attempting to forcefully gain entrance into any meetings or into the premises of the party as national chairman pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The PDP was equally restrained from recognising or granting Secondus the powers due to the office of the national chairman until the final determination of the suit which was adjourned till September 7 for the hearing.
Currently the PDP’s Deputy National Chairman (South) Yemi Akinwonmi is the Acting National Chairman of the party as Secondus remains suspended.