By Favour Goodness
Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are sharply divided over the fate of party National Chairman Uche Secondus.
The National Working Committee (NWC) sank deeper into crisis with yesterday’s resignation of seven members.
Those that resigned are: the Deputy National Publicity Secretary Diran Odeyemi; Deputy National Legal Adviser Ahmed Bello; Deputy National Women Leader Hadizat Umoru; and Deputy National Auditor Divine Amina Arong.
Others are Deputy National Organising Secretary Hassan Yakubu and Deputy National Financial Secretary Irona Alphonsus. Their grouse about the party is what they termed Secondus poor leadership.
Those who resigned gave a 30-day notice but the NWC told them after a meeting yesterday that they should go immediately, it was learnt.
The NWC’s tenure ends in December but Governor Nyesom Wike is leading the group seeking the termination of party officers’ tenure before the terminal date. Things got to a head when the governors took different positions for and against the Secondus-led NWC.
Eight out of 14 governors are for Secondus. Three are against. The remaining three are sitting on the fence.
A source said: “The crisis in the party has caused a split among its governors. They are not on the same page despite last month’s meeting in Bauchi, where they appeared to be united.
“Secondus has pulled a counter-string by running to PDP governors and former governors”, he said.
It was learnt last night that governors backing Secondus are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi(Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu(Abia), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Darius Ishaku(Taraba), Duoye Diri(Bayelsa), Ifeanyi Okowa(Delta) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo). Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu Gusau (Zamfara) is also with him.
Those opposed to Secondus and his team are Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa). Also against him is a former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who has issues with Governor Ugwuanyi on the zoning of governorship ticket in Enugu State.
Governors Aminu Tambuwal ( Sokoto), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom) are on the fence.
It was learnt that Tambuwal, who is chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, has not aligned yet with any group. It was gathered that as a peace facilitator among warring groups in the party, Ortom has been treading softly.
The PDP governors are meeting next week in Abuja to take a stand on Secondus.
Hours after the resignation of seven deputy national officers, the other NWC members passed a vote of confidence in Secondus.
But Secondus, who did not take the seven-man revolt for granted reached out to a former National Chairman Sen. Ahmed Makarfi and ex-Governor Ibrahim Shema (Katsina).
A top source, added: “The NWC has launched a counter attack against the seven rebels. It has decided to replace them immediately.
“ Although they appeared before the NWC and clarified that they only gave a 30-day notice to resign, the NWC insisted that since their exit was already in the public domain, the seven officers must go.”
The source added:” The rebellion by the seven officers created suspense at the NWC meeting. Although members shrugged off the rebellion, it also moved to stem the revolt.