Senator Seriake Dickson has warned members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) who resigned their positions on Tuesday that no individual is bigger than the party.
But, he praised them for their services while in office as tensions escalated between the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and some stalwarts in the party.
Secondus has been struggling to keep the PDP together owing to alleged financial recklessness and bad leadership.
Consequently, seven deputy national officers of the party tendered their resignations, blaming it on his inability to carry them along since they came to office in 2017.
However, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, Dickson said if the officers resigned their positions in good faith, then they should be applauded for their sincerity; but if their action was an episode with an alleged grand plot to destroy the party ahead of the 2023 election, the political actors involved should be lampooned by all and sundry.
He said, “We have observed for some time the growing tension, recriminations and outright attack on the National Chairman and members of the National Working Committee by some leaders of the party.
“One has refrained from making statements because we believe that the party has internal mechanisms and levels of leadership that will handle it and I was in fact aware that BOT members, governors and other elders, reconciliation committee, collectively and individually, have been making efforts to resolve some of these disputes and challenges affecting the stability of the party.
“As we are all aware, some officers of our party, resigned yesterday and we should thank them for their services, but If their resignation is aimed at causing a crisis in the party then we should all condemn it and those behind it.
“The National Chairman and NWC members should utilize their powers under the constitution to discipline erring members involved in the nefarious plot to destroy the party. PDP is bigger than any individual and should no longer tolerate people with inordinate ambitions to destroy the party which belongs to all Nigerians. People with ambition must know that unless the party is stabilized and strengthened, their ambition will be of no consequence even if they pocket it.”
Dickson, a former Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, urged the party to, in line with its constitution, make appropriate consultations at the state and zonal levels in order to replace the NWC members that have resigned.
“If the PDP shrinks from a party for all to a party for a few, it would lose its selling point and many members and leaders will have no option than to review their membership.
“We are not a ruling party at the centre. We don’t have the time, resources and mechanisms to resolve problems that will arise from a caretaker committee, which will throw up more problems before the party convention and primaries at the centre and across the states.
“I caution all those behind this crisis not to leave any opening to the APC to exploit with their control of the resources and machinery of Government.
“We should all learn from the challenge the APC has found itself with the appointment of a caretaker committee which is still unfolding. With only four months to the end of the tenure of the current working committee, it does not make sense to either push for and force a resignation, or to force the appointment of a caretaker committee on a party with officers who have a constitutionally guaranteed tenure.
“Furthermore, with only about a year to the nomination of candidates in the light of the ongoing electoral act amendments bill, it again does not make sense to push a divisive agenda that the party may not have the time resources and mechanism to resolve before the nomination processes and primaries which by their nature are divisive.
“Our singular target and focus for now if we are serious, should be to stabilize and strengthen the NWC by supporting it and correcting whatever may be wrong in-house quietly while putting our effort wholly on the task of identifying and selecting credible candidates and ensuring fair primaries,” he added.
Dickson also noted that the PDP’s window of opportunity to take over power in 2023 was fast receding, adding that the hope Nigerians have in the party as an alternative was fast dimming too unless it pulls back from the brinks and do so quickly.
He continued, “I call on our governors to close ranks and stop the unnecessary battles amongst themselves, support one another and work with other leaders to strengthen and support the party, rather than weakening it.
“I am of the view that governors should be supported in their respective states and the party at the national level should not override their decisions and judgments but to guide and advice when necessary.
“It is a good thing that our governors are all doing well, but they should pay the necessary attention to the need consolidate their states in order to be able defeat the APC challenge in 2023.
“I call on the BOT, the National Assembly Caucus of the party, elders and leaders of the party across the country to stand with the National chairman and the NWC to prevent the party from this avoidable crisis.”