The 2021 convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be an interesting one and South West geopolitical zone, which lost to the incumbent in 2017, has now reorganized for the battle ahead.
PDP had zoned the Chairmanship to the South West in July 2016 botched National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State but the table turned thereafter, and Prince Uche Secondus from South-South became the National Chairman.
A party source told Global Upfront News (GUN) that Secondus might find it difficult if he wants to seek reelection even though his achievements are visible.
According to him, PDP is most likely to retain its Presidential ticket in 2023 in the North, “and therefore the chairmanship will remain in the south, this I can tell you. And this time, the position will go to the South West.”
He argued that the factors that worked for Secondus in 2017 will no longer be available.
“We all know that without (Governor Nyesom) Wike, Secondus would not have been our National Chairman. But now, he is not in good term with Wike. Without Wike, I don’t see any other South-South governor that will mobilise support for him.
“South West has been marginalised in PDP for long. This is time to give us our proper position in the party. I am happy leaders from our zone have realised this and are working together,” the source added.
Last week, the party
held a rally in Ibadan, Oyo State, to receive some returnees from other
political parties, to PDP. Former Osun, Col Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd) and
former African Democratic Party (ADP) candidate in Lagos State in 2019, Olalere
Gbadamosi, were among those who were received.
Former Ekiti Governors, Segun Oni had earlier returned to PDP and promised to work for the success of the party in the state.
Oyinlola who was former PDP National Secretary, is being tipped for the chairmanship in 2021. Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde is said to be working to entrench PDP in South West. Secondus was represented at the rally.
Some members of National Working Committee (NWC) were said not to comfortable with Secondus’ style of leadership. Some of them openly disagreed with him in the suspension of National Assembly members over the leadership tussle in the House of Representatives.
The National Chairman is also said to have fallen out with Wike after last December’s Presidential primary. Secondus was accused of supporting Atiku Abubakar against Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who was supported by Wike and other Governors.
South West PDP have not forgiven him for upstaging them in 2017. Bode George who withdrew from the race at the last minute in protest over uncomplimentary comment against South West, was at last week’s unity rally in Lagos.
The source disclosed that South West PDP members are now united to ensure that it produces the next National Chairman.
PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Duran Odeyemi, said in an interview that it was too early to decide the zone that would produce the party’s next National Chairman.
“Our party is an organized one. What will happen is that the present leadership is just two years in office. Party leaders will sit and decide where the next chairman will come from. Until this is done, it will be difficult to say where the chairman will come from,” he explained.
But Odeyemi stressed that the South West has no reason to complain of the leadership of Prince Secondus.
When GUN contacted Prince Secondus’ Spokesman, Ike Abonyi, he said that his principal is a child of providence and does not worry about what is to happen in two years’ time when there are huge challenges to tackle now. His concern is to finish his mandate well by ensuring that the reform and repositioning of the party he promised the people are delivered at the end of the day.
Abonyi said that Secondus relationship with his Governor Neysom Wike and all the other 14 PDP State Governors is very excellent.
He also that “Prince Secondus is not there yet on his dream for the party but there is visible progress from 11 States under PDP when he came in December 2017 to 15 States today with a better and acceptable image as an opposition party. Prince Secondus appreciates and understands that scheming, intrigues and blackmail are weapons in partisan politics but he is not oblivious of the fact that the master schemer is God who gives and takes at will.”