Uche Secondus, a former acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the party’s decision to support the emergence of factional national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff was a costly mistake which the party regrets. He spoke in Lagos recently at the just concluded Sun Man of the YearAwards.
The Court of Appeal recently upheld the emergence of AliModuSheriff as thePDP’sacting national chairman. What is your take on it?
In every human endeavour, no man is perfect. We are not spirits and so that mistake has been made and of a truth, we will come out of it. We will go to the apex court which is the Supreme Court and we believe that we will get justice there because the convention of any political party regardless of whether it is PDP or APC, is the highest body. It has the authority according to our constitution, and can even dissolve the party.
A decision was taken at the national convention which he presided over and don’t forget that he alone cannot call for a convention. It was the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party that called for a convention. So Sheriff had no authority on the day of the convention to call it off. We are not running a one-man show and so it is a collective responsibility. He was absent and in the absence of the National Chairman, the Deputy moved in and presided over the convention. I was the one that presided over that convention and I had all the constitutional backing to preside because it was called by NEC and approved by it.
Going to the Supreme Court can either favour you or favour him. In an event where it doesn’t favour the party, what will be the next step for the PDP?
We don’t envisage that because we are on the path of the law. We had established a constitution guiding us, so we believe that some miscarriage of justice was done in the appeal. We don’t want to accuse the Judiciary for we know that justice would be served at the Supreme Court.
After losing the election, would you say that so far, the PDP has carried itself very well as an alternative party to the APC ?
Unfortunately, you can see the hands of Esau and the hands of Esau who is actually Jacob in the person of Sheriff. He came to destabilise the party. Obviously, everybody has seen it. He did it in Ondo State – and we lost; he did it in Edo State and we believe that even though we lost, we will get justice at the court. We know that forces are behind him just to destabilise our party. It is a common knowledge but we believe that we have God and justice will be done.
Why did the party support Sheriff in a haste, despite the opposition from prominent members of the party?
Honestly speaking like I said, there is no human endeavour or no human organisation that has no error, only the spirit. We did not carry out due diligence on him before rushing and made him the Acting Chairman.
The rancour in the party has caused many members to defect to the ruling party . Are you not afraid that with the latest development, even more people will defect to the APC?
The good thing about what is happening now is that the alternative is not even the best and you can see that APC has fared any better . They’ve broken their promises and so Nigerians are waiting for PDP to resolve its crisis. If APC was doing what they promised they will do, then we would have had a problem. But as of now, as I speak, go round the entire country, you will know that the whole country is waiting for us to resolve our little issues and then come up in 2019.
As it is now, you’ve already lost two states – you’ve lost Ondo and Edo States. Osun, Anambra and Ekiti states elections are coming up very soon, how prepared is the party ?
We have not lost those states through free and fair election. You know the agenda of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to write results and we call on the President to disband the current INEC because if they carry on the way they have been conducting the affairs before 2019, there will be crisis. INEC is no longer impartial; they have taken sides. It happened in Rivers state, in Edo and Ondo. They pretend as if everything is going on well but you can’t continue to cheat the people all the time; you can cheat the people some of the time. The former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega was impartial. All the other people who presided over INEC have done very well for the country; but this current INEC as currently constituted cannot deliver free and fair elections in 2019. I assure you that if things continue like this, the entire country will rise against INEC.
You’re from the South – South and there are speculations that one of your governors plans to defect to the APC very soon.How true is that?
No, those are rumours. They are not correct. The governor you may be referring to is not moving to APC to the best of my knowledge, but then, let’s wait and see.
And if he does, what happens?
Well, that is the nature of human beings.
Does it mean that the party won’t take any legal action against those who have defected?
We will wait and when we get to the bridge we will cross it.
With the economic crisis and the constant fluctuation of the naira against the dollar, what would you urge the government to do, in terms of policies that can strengthen the currency?
The economy has already collapsed; the naira has collapsed because the APC-led federal government does not have the capacity to reverse the economic recession. They don’t have the know-how to resolve the issue of the value of the naira and the economy as a whole. The PDP-led government was able to manage the economy and that is why throughout the 16 years of the party, we did not experience this kind of economic crisis and hardship. But the fact remains that APC does not have the capacity.
So what would be your advice?
The Federal Government should hire the best brains in the country. There are many Nigerians both in the country and in Diaspora that are doing well. The government should search for such people so they will turn the economy around. Let the APC not be myopic. Obasanjo hired the best brains and Jonathan maintained the best brains. So the President and his team should hire the best brains to help them turn the country around.
Are you implying that those in his cabinet are not competent enough?
I don’t know but I insist that he should hire the best brains.
What would you say about your state governor, Nyesom Wike who received the Sun governor of the year award?
Our prayer is that God will continue to strengthen him because he’s been a revolutionary governor in Rivers state. Never in history have we witnessed the type of development we are witnessing today . He is a man that works very hard. Every other day, he is on one project site or the other commissioning projects. He is like the engineer, and he goes to those places personally to see that those projects that are very dear to the people of Rivers state are done very well. He hired the best of the contractors – Julius Berger, Ronald Construction Company (RCC), CCECC. These are multi-mega companies known all over the world. He has hired them and they are stationed in Rivers state, constructing roads, putting electricity, drainage, reclamation, schools and bridges all over the state.
(Source: The Sun)