To the casual onlooker, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) appears to be relatively calm, going by the lack of serious crisis at the national level. The party has so far been able to manage its crisis from erupting into the open. There are muffled disagreements among key party chieftains, which have continued to nibble at its unity and cohesion at the national, zonal and state levels. The party appears to be doing well at papering over the cracks.
But, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike recently reversed the gains made by the party when he took a swipe at the Uche Secondus led National Working Committee (NWC). Governor Wike had in a press statement accused the NWC of widening existing cracks in the party and sowing seeds of discord among governors elected on the platform of the party. The governor had warned that by its actions, the party leadership was jeopardising the chances of the PDP unseating the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2023 presidential election.
Apparently venting some deep-seated animosity against the party leadership, Wike accused the NWC of using two unnamed former governors of Imo and Cross River states and another serving senator from Benue State, to create a crisis in the party. Knocking the party leadership further, the governor said the NWC, as presently constituted, was merely interested in retaining the current party structure to enable its members retain their positions. Wike added: “An opposition party that ought to be united, to work, to take over the affairs of government because people are waiting for this opportunity; but the current leadership of NWC is not prepared for that. Rather, what they have done is to constitute some people to sow a seed of discord among governors for their own selfish interest. And that will boomerang; that will consume them.”
Not surprisingly, the PDP has set the machinery in motion to douse the tension within the fold. The party’s leadership has set up a six-man reconciliation committee to address grievances among members and to reconcile aggrieved members across the six geopolitical zones. The committee, which was inaugurated by the party chairman, is headed by a former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki. In an acceptance speech shortly after the committee was inaugurated, Saraki had cautioned Secondus and other members of the NWC against interfering with the work of the committee. Also in the committee are another former President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim; a former governor of Cross River State, Mr Liyel Imoke; and a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mrs Mulikat Adeola Akande. Others are former Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema; and former Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo.
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