Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Immediate respite may not have come for the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, as the meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) on Thursday failed to reach a truce but rather called for further consultations with other organs, particularly, the Governors Forum.
Rather than being categorical in resolving the crisis between aggrieved National Executive Committee (NEC) members that resigned on Tuesday and the Secondus – led National Working Committee (NWC), the Board subjected the matter to a further meeting with the selected members of other organs.
Briefing journalists at the end of the almost four hours of its 73rd meeting at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, two former Senate Presidents, David Mark and Bukola Saraki said the BoT will in the next 24 hours set up an all-encompassing committee to look into the matter and other unresolved issues.
The meeting refrained from passing a vote of confidence or otherwise on the Secondus- led National Working Committee (NWC).
Speaking, Senator David Mark said: “We resolved at the meeting to set up a committee that will look at the situation.
The committee is made up of the governors, members of the BoT, members of the National Assembly, all the members of the National Working Committee, former governors, former ministers, so that they can holistically resolve the problems”.
On whether the next meeting will put an end to constant defection and resignation of members, Mark said “it will not only stop the current crises, it will lead to providing a better environment to make us far more united and make us stronger as a party”.
He, however, cleared air on the presence of the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, at the meeting.
Against the assumption that Wike was summoned, Mark said the Rivers governor “was not summoned, he is a member of BoT and he came as a member of BoT, a position corroborated by the BOT Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin.
Also speaking on the resolution of the meeting, Senator Bukola Saraki said: “Because of the urgency of the matter, we agreed to set up this committee urgently and within the next 48 to 72 hours, they will meet and at the end of that meeting, the country will see where the direction the party is going.
“The commitment of everybody to attend that meeting and subject themselves to the decision of that meeting shows the interest of everybody.
“The presence of all of us here is because this meeting of today (Thursday) was important in addressing some of those issues”.
Saraki appealed to PDP members to come together to salvage the party and to position it in addressing the challenges ahead of which is to rescue Nigeria in 2023.
In his welcome address, chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, emphasised the need for the PDP to set its house in order to prepare for the next elective convention to elect its national leaders, and preparations for the 2023 general elections.
The BoT chairman gave an insight that the meeting will discuss and come up with necessary strategies for the election of the national leadership based on free and fair election that will produce credible and competent officers of the party.
He also said it is imperative for the BoT as the conscience to sustain unity and stability of the party by ensuring that new leaders emerge only through free and fair election at national convention.
“There is also the need to take firm stand to drastically reduce the action of court cases by aggrieved members but to always follow the procedure enshrined in the Constitution before referring any matter to court of law.
Anyone that takes the party to court should be seriously disciplined”, he said.
In his remark before the commencement of the meeting, National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, assured all that issues will be resolved in favour of the party.
Secondus said: “We believe that issues of this nature must be handled quickly and swiftly so that we can get back to the business of conducting free and fair conventions for a smooth transition.
“Because any dislocation will cost an infraction and will result in several unknown issues that we may come out, we may not be able, but God forbid.
The intention is to come out that for 3 years, 8 months now, it has been very peaceful.
Not that no issue, the issues are usual issues of party, both party administration and those who know the running and the power game will understand.
“My opinion is that anything contrary to the smooth running of our party, towards these 3 months that is remaining will not be good enough for our party.
“Sacrifices have been made from the beginning when we came in and by the grace of God not without an error. Because anyone that has no error is perfect.
But as human beings you are aware that the convention that took place in Port Harcourt was transparent, it is a convention that put the party together and it was smooth, free, fair and we went into that election in 2019.
“I believe that all hands must be on deck, because you are aware that the other party is falling apart and Nigerians are looking up to PDP to come out stronger and prepare themselves for 2023.
And this by the grace of God we all are willing and I believe that the party will come out stronger from this situation and with strength, we will match forward to 2023 to rescue Nigeria from the crisis APC have taken Nigeria into.
“I believe that members of the BoT who have worked so hard from the beginning and now in collaboration with the NWC and governors forum will be able to chart a way forward, a way forward that will bring victory to our party”.
At the meeting were the National Secretary, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri and Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Suleiman Nazif.
Past Presidents of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, David Mark and Adolphus Wabara and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, were at the meeting.
Former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi, former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Katisna State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, former Cross Rivers State Governor, Liyel Imoke, Chief Olisa Metuh, former Osun State Governor, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola also attended the meeting