Leadership tussle is brewing between the governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, over the planned return of Senator Samuel Anyanwu as national secretary of the party.
Anyanwu was defeated at the just concluded Imo State governorship election held on November 11.
Before his defeat, pressures had been on him to hand over the office of the national secretary and concentrate on his governorship campaigns.
A former national youth leader of the PDP, Sunday Udeh Okoye was nominated by the South-east to succeed Anyanwu, but the power tussle did not allow him to assume office.
However, a court order by the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu State had in October ordered the PDP to replace Senator Anyanwu as the party’s National Secretary but the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) did not enforce the order.
Penultimate Tuesday, as the NWC was planning to swear in Okoye, Anyanwu, was said to have rushed to Abuja, and the planned ceremony was stalled.
Anyanwu presented the PDP NWC with a court order directing him to resume his office as national secretary.
However, the intervention of the governors stalled his return,
A source close to the PDP governors disclosed that Anyanwu was stopped to avoid Wike assuming absolute control of the party’s leadership.
Reacting, the acting National Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Illya Damagum said that Anyanwu would not assume office till the conflicting court orders are resolved.
He said: “Since there are conflicting court orders, we urged the two sides to stand down and we have agreed and appointed the Deputy National Secretary to continue to act as Secretary pending the time, we will resolve all the issues; the conflicting court orders and resolutions of the South-east. So, there is no conflict and we are together and thinking together on this issue.”
The tussle over the position of the national secretary started when the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Adolphus Wabara wrote to Anyanwu to hand over the office of National Secretary and concentrate on his campaign as a governorship candidate of the party in Imo State.
But Wike disagreed and openly tongue-lashed Wabara.
According to Wike, the BoT of the PDP did not have the authority to declare who could occupy the office of national secretary of the party.
Wike also expressed dismay that the former senate president referred to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as “former governor of Imo State” in his letter to the acting chair of the PDP.
In his letter to the acting national chairman, Wike said: “Your Excellency, permit me to observe with respect that the Board of Trustees (BoT) lack the moral authority to intervene on the issue of who occupies or should occupy the Office of the National Secretary of the Party,” the minister wrote in his response to Wabara.
Wike continued, “More so as the BoT was unable to use its good offices as the conscience of the party to intervene in the crises that engulfed the party in the run-up to the 2023 general election when officers of the party blatantly violated the constitution of the party.
“Secondly, the Acting Chairman of the BoT is reminded that the issue of who occupies the position of National Secretary of the party is beyond the BoT’s sphere of authority and influence.”
Wike was said to have single-handedly influenced the emergence of Anyanwu.
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