Seven deputy national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday resigned their positions as members of the National Executive Council.
The seven national officers are Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi; Deputy National Legal Adviser, Ahmed Bello; Deputy National Women Leader, Umoru Hadizat; Deputy National Auditor Divine Amina Arong; Deputy National Organizing Secretary, Hassan Yakubu; and Deputy National Financial Secretary, Irona Alphonsus.
The officers attributed their resignation to incompetence of the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
One of the officers, who spoke on anonymity, cited bad treatment exhibited by the Secondus led National Working Committee (NWC) leadership on the deputies since they were elected in 2017.
“Since our election in 2017, we (deputy national officers) have only met with Secondus thrice. It is not as if he called us; on those three occasions, we sought audience with him.
“To him, we are just a necessary evil to be tolerated but never to be catered for. We all have our constituencies and our followers.
“It appears they see us as nothing but appendages forced on them by the party’s constitution,” he said.
Odeyemi, who was in London, United Kingdom, while declining comment on the development, aligned himself with the decision of his colleagues to resign.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, confirming the development, said that the NWC had received the resignation letters.
Ologbondiyan said that the party leadership would look into the matter and adopt the internal mechanism to resolve it.
“The NWC of our great party at its meeting today received the notice of the resignation from deputies who are elected members of the National Executive Committee.
“The meeting of the NWC and the deputies immediately took place to dialogue on the issues that were raised.
“The party will look into the grievances raised by members of NEC as well as members of the National Working Committee.
“The internal conflict resolution mechanism of our party has also been immediately activated to put these issues behind us.
“We call on all the leaders, stakeholders and members of our great party to remain calm as we collectively resolve these issues,” Ologbondiyan said.
The National Youth leader, SKE Ude-Okoye, also briefing newsmen in his office at Wadata House, the party National Secretariat, Abuja, alleged that Secondus was incompetent of managing the affairs of the party, saying he lacked managerial capacity to manage PDP.
He said that Secondus had made sure that many departments of the party did not function as effectively as it ought to function.
“The Chairman has nothing to offer to the party only to come here and deceive us.
“There is a sharp division in our NWC right now, not only me, many more NWC members are more aggrieved than myself.
“Today I have asked him in our NWC meeting to resign his position as the chairman of this party because he cannot lead this party to victory,” Ude-Okoye said.
He called on PDP leaders, the governors, the founding fathers, youths and women to rise up to rescue the party from Secondus incompetent leadership.
“Secondus is not willing to take us to anywhere. He is just there to make sure that he enriches himself.
“I am here to make it very clear to all Nigerians that if Secondus does not resign from the party, I am going to leave the party for him to eat the party and own the party.
“The governors, if they don’t wade into this matter right now, I assure Nigerians that within the next three, four days, my letter will be public,” Ude-Okoye said.
He added that more officers of the NWC would still resign because of Secondus.
“Right now I can tell you that not less than eight to ten persons within the NWC members are very aggrieved with Secondus,” Ude-Okoye said.
Asked if they have explored the impeachment clause in the constitution of the party instead of resigning his position, Ude-Okoye said they were in the process.
Also reacting to the development, Mr Ike Abonyi, the Media Adviser to Secondus, described the allegation of incompetence and self-enrichment against Secondus by Udo-Okoye as unfortunate.
Abonyi expressed concern that it took Ude-Okoye three and half years to know that Secondus was incompetent, and enriching himself.
“It took him three and a half years and four, five months to the convention, it is very unfortunate because he has operated as the youth leader of this party since December 2017 with Secondus as National Chairman.
“He has worked with him but suddenly, few months to the convention, after the game of this morning, in some part of Abuja, he suddenly discovered that Secondus is incompetent. He suddenly discovered that Secondus is enriching himself?
“I want to assure members of the party that the structure of the party is intact and Prince Secondus is the National Chairman.
“Anybody who resigns will be filled the next day and this party will work to victory in 2023. There is no going back about it.
“All those who are looking for interim government few months to general election are taking us back to Egypt and nobody is ready to go back to Egypt.
“We have passed through this road before and we don’t want to go back there,” Abonyi said.
Resignation and the internal crisis is coming at the heel of the party membership e-registration that commenced on Monday.
This was also as the party was preparing for its national convention expected to hold in December.