The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepened on Tuesday as two rival deputy national chairmen, Yemi Akinwonmi (deputy national chairman, south)and Suleiman Nazif (deputy national chairman, north) each claimed to be the acting leader of the party.
Akinwonmi had earlier in a statement declared himself as the national chairman and called off all planned party meetings.
But three hours later, a members of PDP’s National Working Committee opposed to Uche Secondus and led by Nazif held a meeting at the national secretariat in which he pronounced himself as chairman.
Nazif was accompanied to the meeting at the party’s secretariat by some national officials of the party, where they announced that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting would hold on Friday.
“The NWC hereby calls for an emergency NEC meeting on Friday, 27th August 2021, at 10 am prompt to deliberate on matters affecting the party,” Nazif stated.
Explaining his role, Nazif cited the constitution of the peoples democratic party, which stated that “in the event of resignation, removal, death, incapacitation or absence of the national chairman, a deputy national chairman from the part of the country where the national chairman originates shall assume office as the national chairman in acting capacity without prejudice to section 47 (6)of the party Constitution. 4) in the absence of the National chairman and the deputy national chairman from the region part of the country where the National chairman originates, the other deputy national chairman shall act as national chairman without prejudice to 47 (6) of this Constitution.”
“On this note, distinguish NWC members I hereby take full charge of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as chairman in an acting capacity.” Nazif claimed.
He explained that “We have waited this morning for the deputy national chairman (south), who has been incapacitated, who has not been attending NWC meeting in the last 9 months . Like you know, in the absence of the deputy chairman south, I take full charge, so I am hereby calling for an emergency NEC meeting on the 27th August, 2021, 10 am prompt to deliberate.”
Earlier in the day, Akinwonmi said in a statement that he was taking charge of the party.
He announced the postponement of the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) which was earlier slated to hold on Tuesday.
“Section 35(3) (b) of the constitution of the People’s Democratic Party empowers me to summon and preside over party meetings in the absence of the national chairman,” Akinwonmi said.