PDP reconciliation panel links party crisis to Wike, Secondus

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conflict reconciliation panel has attributed the leadership crisis tearing apart the opposition party to the battle between Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and suspended Chairman, Uche Secondus.

The eight-man panel headed by former Senate President David Mark has decided to meet with the two gladiators before the end of this week to press for the withdrawal of court cases in connection with the crisis.

There has been a plethora of cases since the Rivers State High Court granted an interim injunction stopping Secondus from parading himself as chairman or conducting affairs of the party. The ruling also endorsed the suspension of his membership of the party.

The suit was filed by members of the PDP in Rivers State.

The order was made following a suit filed against Secondus and the PDP by some members of the party identified as  Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex, Dennis Nna Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen and Umezirike Onucha.

Secondus went to a Kebbi State High Court to obtain another injunction restoring him. Following this, a set of party members obtained another injunction at a Cross River High Court restraining Secondus. All the courts are of coordinate jurisdiction.

Yesterday, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Tanko Muhammad, who is also chairman of the Nigeria Judicial Council (NUJ), invited the chief judges of Rivers, Cross River, Kebbi, Jigawa, Anambra and Imo states over issuance of conflicting rulings on the PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) political crises.

The David Mark panel, it was learnt, is of the opinion that only the withdrawal of all suits in court could enable the PDP to hold a hitch-free national convention on October 31.

According to a source, members have identified Wike and Secondus as the arrowheads of the crisis rocking the PDP.

The source said: “We have resolved to hold a frank session with Wike and Secondus within the next 48 hours. We will make the observations of party leaders known to them and seek their cooperation on the way out for the crises.

“Our minimum demand is immediate withdrawal of all cases in court in order to restore stability to the party. Without the withdrawal of the cases, the PDP national convention cannot hold on October 31.

“The conflicting orders from different courts have not helped the nation’s democracy and the image of PDP as a democratic party. Don’t forget that withdrawal of cases was a major mandate given to us by the National Caucus

“We will use the opportunity to seek their opinions on all issues that led to the crisis in order to avert a repeat. By the time we interact with them, there may be some of their backers or foot soldiers we need to reach out to.

“After they agree to withdraw the cases, we will look for internal solutions after meeting with the key actors and their supporters. This crisis may lead to recommendations from the panel on how to handle such whenever it occurs in future.  Our report may even guide PDP to look its constitution on intra-party disputes,” the source said.

He added that the panel might meet Wike and Secondus separately.

The eight-man panel was raised by the National Caucus of the party on Friday.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, Tambuwal said: “In view of the fact that we are yet to receive that court order from Kebbi State High Court, we empanelled this committee (Mark committee). It is part of what this committee is going to look at, and all the parties involved accordingly.”

The Nation



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