More details have emerged over what transpired between the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus and Governor Nyesom Wike at the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting.
The BoT had called for a meeting on Thursday to find a solution to the crisis rocking the main opposition party which had led to the resignation of seven top National Working Committee (NWC) members.
The seven national officers of the party who resigned included the Deputy National Financial Secretary, the Deputy Legal Adviser, the Deputy National Auditor, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, the Deputy Women Leader and the Deputy Organising Secretary.
The crisis rocking the party is connected to the jostle for shares of the PDP structure ahead of the 2023 polls by political bigwigs.
At the Thursday meeting, the PDP BoT members led by Senator Walid Jibrin insisted that Secondus should be allowed to complete his tenure, which would soon end.
According to sources, the BoT faulted what they termed as uncomplimentary remarks by some party leaders, including Wike, against the NWC, while condemning the way the NWC handled crises in some state chapters of the party.
Wike, a major financier of the party, attended the meeting as a BoT member.
According to ThePUNCH, the governor’s arrival was said to have taken attendees by surprise as he was not a regular attendee at any of the party’s functions, apart from the PDP Governors’ Forum.
“His presence, which was not expected, despite his being a PDP BoT member, came as a surprise to many, but not to those of us who are followers of events in the party,” a member of the party’s NWC said.
The source, who is also a member of the BoT, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wike, in his remarks, was angry at some unnamed members of the party, who he said labelled him the party’s “Father Christmas.”
The source said, “Holding a magazine where he (the governor) said he was described as a Father Christmas, he said when he single-handedly paid the legal fees and other matters in the case that removed Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the party and rescued it from him, nobody called him such a name.
“He said he had been paying the rent for the Legacy Building (PDP Presidential Campaign office in Abuja), yet nobody described him using such language. He said if he was not a party man, he could probably have used such money to also marry four wives. He also said he had not told anyone that he wanted to be the presidential candidate of the party in 2023 as insinuated in some quarters.”
Wike was also said to have paid the salaries of some of the staff members of the party, while other governors and influential members felt unconcerned.
The source disclosed that Wike also accused Secondus of polarising the PDP Governors’ Forum as some of its members were behind the national chairman, while others were with the governor.
Wike was said to have made an attempt to leave the meeting as soon as he ended his speech but Secondus, according to the source, said it would be wrong for the governor to leave without hearing from him.
“If you attack me, I will attack you!” Wike was said to have fired back at Secondus. This remark was said to have made attendees to laugh hilariously.
However, sources told PUNCH that Secondus challenged Wike on claims that he was seeking another term.
“He told the governor to name anyone he had informed that he was running for a second term. He also said that the party would determine who would be the next national chairman of the party and that the party was bigger than himself. He said the governor should play the role of a father,” the source added.
After Wike ended his speech, Senator Abdul Ningi told the governor that the rift in the party would be settled and that there was no need to quarrel.
He proposed that a committee should be set up to look into the issues raised by aggrieved members.