The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uche Secondus, said the new executive is poised to rediscover the winning magic of the party and to reignite the fire that once made Nigeria a shining beacon in Africa.
Mr Secondus spoke this on Tuesday when members of PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, paid the National Working Committee, NWC, a courtesy call at the party national secretariat, Abuja.
Speaking in the same vein at a two-day retreat for the newly elected NWC on the determination of the party to return back to power in 2019, Mr Secondus said efforts would be geared towards repackaging the PDP and to unveil it to the Nigerian electorate so as to regain their confidence.
According to him, PDP will be taking a cue from the International Republican Institute which said the party lost the election because of its inability to recognise the power of social media and its failure to harmonise its communication channels.
“We must therefore begin to invest in our party with the aim of repackaging and eventually unveiling a reformed PDP to the Nigerian electorate, so as to regain their confidence.
We must redefine who we are in the minds of Nigerians, down to the grass-root level,” he said”
Mr Secondus said the two-day retreat is a self-reawakening; to give everyone a say in the outcome, a chance to fully participate in crafting the key strategies to move the party forward.
In his remarks, Ike Ekwerenmadu said the emergence of Secondus as PDP’s national chairman has struck fear in the minds of the APC leaders who sees him as an experienced political tactician capable of swaying victory to his side.
On the party’s presidential ticket, Mr Ekweremadu urged the NWC to provide a level playing ground for all interested and qualified aspirants.
He said: “Of utmost importance in the build up to 2019 election year is our choice of presidential candidate. The fate and political fortunes of the party depend on the party’s presidential candidate.
“The party must therefore identify a candidate with the credentials, reach, charisma, competence and popularity to outmatch any candidate presented by the ruling APC and any other party for that matter.”
The Jostle for the PDP’s presidential ticket seemed to have taken off as one of the presidential hopeful and former Governor of Jigwa State, Sule Lamido, yesterday stormed the national secretariat of the PDP with his supporters.
Mr Lamido later met with the new leadership of the party behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, in a bid to forestall any relapse to legal tussle in the PDP, the Chairman of the party’s reconciliation committee, Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriaka Dickson, has expressed his preparedness to engage the aggrieved chairmanship aspirants, Taoheed Adedoja.
Mr Dickson who gave the hint at retreat for the newly elected national executive of the party, said the committee would meet with Adedoja with a view to persuading him to withdraw his suit against the party.
Mr Adedoja, a former Minister of Youth and Sports, said he filed a suit at an Abuja Federal High Court to challenge the outcome the election which saw the emergence of Secondus as the national chairman.
The aspirant claimed that his name was wrongly spelt as “Taoheed Oladoja” thereby misleading delegates and robbing him of victory at the convention.
However, as if not much is being recorded in terms of reconciliation, the crises bedeviling the party seems to have assumed a new dimension with the sudden emergence of a parallel faction, who parade themselves with the slogan ‘Fresh PDP… PDP First’.
The new party’s secretariat is located at Tito Broz street, off Jimmy Carter street, Asokoro.
The group, led by Emmanuel Nwosu, is among others calling for the nullification of the party’s convention held on December 9 at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
Daily Nigerian gathered that the members of the group are made up of loyalists of one of the chairmanship candidates in the recently concluded convention of the party.
However, briefing newsmen at the party’s secretariat, the leader, Mr Nwosu, said the process leading to the emergence of the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee was fraught with illegality and abuse of electoral process.
It could also be recalled Taoheed Adedoja, took the party to court asking a federal high court sitting in Abuja to nullify the outcome of the convention on the basis that he was “excluded” from the exercise.
He said rather than using his name, the convention planning committee used “Taoheed Oladoja” and as such, his name did not appear on the ballot papers.
On the day of the convention, Mr Adedoja was the only aspirant from the south-west who refused to step down for Tunde Adeniran, consensus candidate from the region.
He did not secure a single vote in the election.
In the suit filed through Rickey Taffa, his lawyer, Mr Adedoja said it was wrong to say he scored no voter in the election when his name was “missing.”
The development is coming a week after Mr Adedoja said he was “aggrieved but hopeful” regarding the convention.
He had told journalists in Abuja that “the convention was characterised by impunity” which must be reviewed in order to avert further crisis in the party.
“A week to our convention, a list tagged ‘unity list’ emerged with names of the winners in the convention circulating around. So the BoT should find out what went wrong,” he had said.
The PDP has since begun reconciliatory moves to unite aggrieved parties in the convention.
Among those spearheading the move are governors elected on the platform of the party as well as the party’s former leaders.
Last week, Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state, led a reconciliation committee to the south-west.
The committee held separate meetings with Rasheed Ladoja and Gbenga Daniel, chairmanship aspirants of the party.