Unless there is a let-up, the two leading political parties in Nigeria, the All Progressives Party (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) are heading towards major crises as different interest groups and tendencies within the parties scheme towards having a dominant position ahead of the 2023 election. The APC is embroiled in the politics
Unless there is a let-up, the two leading political parties in Nigeria, the All Progressives Party (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) are heading towards major crises as different interest groups and tendencies within the parties scheme towards having a dominant position ahead of the 2023 election.
The APC is embroiled in the politics of the congresses: While a group has canvassed the suspension of the congresses sequel to a recent minority judgment of the Supreme Court which almost voided the Ondo governorship election outcome because the nomination form was signed by its Chairman Caretaker Committee, a serving Yobe State Governor; asnother group felt the congresses should go ahead because nothing was wrong with the administrative structure of the Party.
Already, there are cases in court challenging the conduct of the APC congresses. Additionally, parallel congresses were said to have been held in some southern states of the country. It is common practice that whoever controls the Party executives from the ward to the local government and state level holds the levers of power in such a state. That explains the struggles and manouvers.
In some states, there are pending litigations over the legality of the caretaker committee while there are a couple of similar suit against the national caretaker committee. Ward congresses could not hold in Anambra and Zamfara states. The outcome of the congresses is being disputed in some states. There were protests in some States like Rivers and Akwa Ibom.
Though, the Party is yet to announce the zoning arrangements for the 2023 elections. This is being anticipated as the final straw for the camel’s back. While members from the south believe that the presidential ticket should be zoned to the south in view of an unwritten agreement reached in 2015, another group from the North argues that the party should jettison zoning and allow every zone to contest noting that politics is a game of numbers.
There are several bumps on the way to 2023 in the two political parties and the fallouts may trigger some political realignment with politicians switching camps and parties. How far reaching these are, could determine where the pendulum swings in the 2023 presidential contest.
It is expected that the two major political parties will hold their conventions before the end of the year.
But, the nature of the crisis in the PDP is such that some powerful members want to force the Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus to relinquish power before the December convention of the party. Already, seven members of its National Executive Committee resigned their appointments suddenly.
The seven are all deputies to principal Officers of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. They include Deputy National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Auditor, Deputy National Woman Leader, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Deputy National Legal Adviser, Deputy National Organising Secretary. Under the PDP constitution the deputies shall assist the substantive Officers and deputise for them in their absence.
Also, the National Youth Leader, Mr. Udeh Okoye on the same day called on the National Chairman of the PDP to resign his position. Addressing the Press yesterday, the National Youth Leader said Prince Uche Secondus lacks the intellectual capacity to govern the party.
Amongst others, the Chairman is said not to have acted promptly when three Governors of the Party hinted at their decamping to opposition APC. They are Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Professor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State and Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State. It is also being alleged that Prince Secondus is not leading the Party to provide a robust opposition to the APC which is believed to be underperforming in government.
Fence-mending work and reconciliation have already been commenced by the PDP. The governors of the party in a statement last night said it has received with regrets and sadness the recent rumblings in the PDP.
“The Governors hereby call on all members of the party and indeed all stakeholders to remain calm in the face of the developments.
“We plead with all aggrieved persons and those with the interest of the PDP at heart to keep their gun powder dry, as efforts are being made in consultation with members of the PDP Board of Trustees and other stakeholders to resolve all contending issues.
“To this end, the PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM has scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the affairs of the Party and the way forward.
“The PDP as the only remaining hope of the nation for good governance must show an example to Nigerians and also take advantage of the current disarray in the APC and its rudderless government.
The statement was personally signed by Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, Chairman, PDP Governors Forum.
Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP said the party has activated its internal conflict resolution strategy towards calming all storms within the party. In a statement, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan said:
“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from a crucial meeting on Tuesday evening where it reviewed the state of the party, with a view to creating an atmosphere that will continue to engender stability within the party.
“The NWC assures that it has already activated the internal conflict resolution mechanism of the party to ensure amicable resolution of all issues.
“The NWC further assures all members of the party that it is taking urgent steps to ensure decisions that will strengthen our great party for the task ahead, particularly at this time Nigerians are looking up to the PDP for direction and solutions.
“Against this backdrop, the NWC urges all members to remain calm while assuring that the PDP remains stable as we work with majority of Nigerians to end the inept administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), come 2023.
However, analysts believe that unless the National Chairman decides to resign his appointment, removing him may be a tall order as only the National Executive Committee of the Party (NEC) or the National Convention can vote him out.
It is believed that the principal force behind the removal of Prince Uche Secondus is Governor Nyesom Wike. Both of them are from Rivers State. Both were recently invited to Makurdi, Benue State, where Governor Samuel Ortom tried to broker a truce, but it would appear that has not been very successful.