Embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus on Wednesday expressed willingness for an out-of-court resolution of the crisis that led to his suspension from office.
A source said Secondus opted for a truce during an interaction with the eight-member peace committee chaired by former Senate President David Mark.
However, the ratification of Secondus’ suspension at the ward and local government levels by the Rivers State PDP has dimmed his hope of regaining the topmost party office.
According to the source, Secondus, who met with the committee members in his office last Friday, told them that he was forced to approach the Kebbi High Court for a counter-injunction in response to the one initiated at the Port Harcourt High Court.
Other members of the Mark committee that met with Secondus were former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; a former PDP National Chairman, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo; and former PDP Acting National Chairman, Mohammed Halilu Bello.
Also in the committee were Chief Tom Ikimi, a former Women Affairs Minister, Hadjia Inna Ciroma; and Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe.
The source, who did not want to be named because he was not mandated to speak on the matter, said: “I can confirm to you that the chairman met with the Mark committee in his office shortly after the National Caucus meeting last Friday.
“Of course they discussed ways of having the three court cases withdrawn and he told the committee members that it was not his wish to resort to legal action but for the restraining order placed on him by the court in Rivers State.
“The chairman made it known to the committee members that he would be ready to withdraw his own case from court without any hesitation if he is asked to do so”.
The committee had also met with the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike last Tuesday, after the meeting with Secondus.
The call for Secondus’ sack is widely believed to have been instigated by Wike over the purported 2023 conflicting ambitions of the two Rivers born politicians.
Secondus is being speculated to be eyeing a second term as chairman, a move Wike believed would constitute an obstacle to his own 2023 vice presidential aspiration.
Also, it is believed that in the event of Secondus securing a second tenure as chairman, he might work against Wike’s interest in the choice of who gets the Rivers governorship ticket in 2023.
Speculations are rife that the two Rivers political gladiators have two separate prospective candidates in mind for the governorship ticket.
Investigations showed that in a letter of August 8, 2021, the executive committee members of Secondus’ Ward 5 Ikuru Town, Andoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, listed six reasons for suspending him.
In the letter, which was transmitted to the Chairman of PDP in Andoni Local Government Area, the ward leaders accused Secondus of anti-party activities.
The letter was signed by the Ward 5 Chairman, George Christopher and Secretary, Aaron Ubulom. Copies were sent to Secondus, the state Chairman, Desmond Akawor and Governor Nyesom Wike.
The ward executives accused him of making an attempts to disrupt party meetings at the ward and causing disaffection among party loyalists, which they said, led to the exodus of significant number of party faithful.
Other allegations include: Iinstructing against the integration of Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, a former Chairman of the APC in Rivers, who was received into the party by the state governor, thereby weakening the party at the ward and LGA.
“Replication of the factionalisation of the party done at the ward to the national level, which has led to the total breakdown of the party and resignation of seven members of the National Executive Committee.
“Bringing the party at all levels to disrepute as he is being dogged by several allegations of corruption thereby making the party unattractive to new members.”
They also alleged that under the leadership of Secondus, there were massive defections from the party by governors and a member of Board of Trustees, adding that he instigated the division among members of the major organs of the party.
“All these are acts that are deliberately anti-party activities clearly calculated to weaken the party and give an easy ride to the APC come 2023 general elections and we cannot continue to condone these conducts that are sinking the party deeper into the abyss of irrelevance”, they said.
In a letter dated August 10, the acting PDP Chairman in Andoni Local Government Area, Titus Jones and Secretary, Theophilus Ataisigwung, accepted the suspension of Secondus.
Also, Akawor and George, in a letter dated August 11, upheld the suspension, saying their investigations indicted Secondus of anti-party activities.