PDP upbeat as Appeal Court delivers ruling today

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…It’ll be wrong for Secondus to make PDP ungovernable  —Walid Jibril

By Clifford Ndujihe & Dirisu Yakubu

ACTIVITIES remained unaffected yesterday at the Wadata Plaza national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP ahead of today’s ruling by the Court of Appeal, sitting in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on an application brought by suspended National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, seeking to stop the national convention from holding, weekend.

Justice Haruna Tsammani of the appellate court had after hearing the submissions by parties to the suit, fixed Thursday (today) for ruling on the matter.

At the party’s headquarters yesterday, PDP officials were in expectant mood as preparations for the big event intensified. The Contact and Mobilization Convention sub-committee chaired by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State met behind closed doors even as the convention screening committee led by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, postponed its meeting earlier scheduled for yesterday to Thursday (today).

Party members with sundry inquiries turned the office of the National Organizing Secretary to a Mecca of sort as they besieged the office located on the first floor seeking one form of clarification or the other. Not left out were journalists from media houses not officially accredited to cover the party. They were cited making last minute effort to get the nod of the accreditation committee to cover the event.

Although not unaware of the impending court judgement, petty traders selling various souvenirs bearing the PDP insignia stormed Plot 1970, Michael Okpara Street which houses the Wadata Plaza, making brisk business, selling such articles like face caps, wrist bands, branded T-shirts, and key holders among others. Local musicians, mostly northerners were on hand singing praises of anyone who dressed well, particularly in native dress, popularly called babariga.

Asked if the party was apprehensive ahead of today’s court ruling, national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PDP is looking forward to a hitch-free convention, adding that the party would not make a statement based on conjectures.

“There is no apprehension in the PDP. Like I said before, we are not going to react to conjectures. As far as we are concerned, the convention of our party will be held on the 30th and 31st of October, 2021. We have no reason to begin to imagine that it will not hold. There is no court judgement to the contrary and so, we have nothing to fear or worry about,” he said.

It’ll be wrong for Secondus to make PDP ungovernable —Walid Jibril

Meanwhile, PDP Board of Trustees, BOT, Chairman, Walid Jibril, has advised Uche Secondus not to make the party ungovernable.

The Cable had reported how multiple court orders were issued against Secondus, resulting in his suspension, and Yemi Akinwonmi, deputy national chairman (South), was appointed as his replacement.

Subsequently, a Rivers State High Court issued an interim order restraining Secondus from parading himself as the chairman of the party.

On October 18, Secondus said he would not withdraw the suit challenging his removal, insisting that the party should stop preparations for the convention, pending the hearing of his case at the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on the issue on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, Jibril said the decision of the party is supreme, and as such, the national convention will take place on the appointed date.

He said it would be “very wrong” for Secondus, being a founding member of the PDP, to make the party “ungovernable.”

His words: “Secondus is a member of the BoT, he attained the position of the national chairman of this party. He has seen many things and helped to build the party. Will it be now that he will go against what the party is doing, what the party intends to do? I say it will be very wrong if Secondus is taking another fight completely, yielding the course to solve his own problem.

“Everything will come to an end. He had been in this party since the formation of the party. Is he going to die, what is going to happen to him? Let’s look at the party as supreme and go on with the decision of this party.

“I would like to say that the convention planned for the 30th of this month is on and we’re going to be there and carry out our duties and improve our party. We have processes and we have the national deputy chairman from the South, where he comes from and he is on course and he is now leading our party. His presence in the convention is not necessary at all.

“I don’t see why Secondus should go to this extent or try to ensure the party goes another different way completely. Secondus should have taken whatever happened simply being a founding member of the party. He should play the role he has been playing.”

Reacting to the claim that governors wield a huge influence in the zoning of the party’s presidential ticket, Jibril said the PDP has structures, adding that the governors have the right to make recommendations but the decision on zoning rests on the National Executive Council, NEC, of the party.

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