By Obiaruko Ndukwe
The battle of wits in d Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which culminated to the polarization of the Party during its Special Convention at the Eagle Square in Abuja may take a new turn going by revelations made to AGOGO NEWS by a source close to the Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus.
Despite efforts by the New PDP led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje to sack the factional Chairman of the old PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, informed sources say the President may not be in a hurry to drop Tukur now until towards the next National Convention of the Party. Tukur who is battling to regain control of the Party machinery is said to be unaware of plans by his deputy to succeed him in a manner similar to the treatment meted on his predecessor, Okwy Nwodo.
The recent revelation by the Kawu Baraje led faction which exposed Tukur’s election as an illegality is one of the trump cards which the President may use to drop him thus finally paving way for Secondus to emerge. Prince Secondus who belongs to the faction against Gov. Rotimi Amaechi in Rivers state is said to have warmed his way into the heart of Mr President during the crisis that eventually saw the fall of former Gov. Timi Sylva from contention for his re-election bid as governor of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that when the battle to stop Sylva was on, Amaechi used his position alongside other governors from the South South zone to protest in favour of their embattled colleague. Several efforts were made by the President to convince the governors on why Sylva must not return to office but that was resisted by the powerful Governors’ Forum, NGF,led by Amaechi. Though, the NGF’s stance was in the spirit of solidarity but all that did not go down well with the President who had suffered a lot of sponsored media attacks from Sylva’s aides.
Then Secondus became a willing tool for the job. He quickly turned against Sylva though he was alleged to have received a lot of financial support from. The slimy politician from Rivers State saw a window of opportunity in the President’s desperation to stop Sylva and then capitalized on it to gain a firm grip of the President alongside other members of the NWC of the Party.
That of cause did not go down well with Amaechi and his colleagues who vowed to ensure that Secondus and his colleagues did not return to the NWC. The Rivers governor was said to have personally told his once close associate, Uche Secondus during the build up to the May 2012 Convention where the new Party exco was elected, that he would let him return to the NWC but was rather disposed towards giving him any other position he wanted. That of course did not go down well with Secondus who waited for his turn to strike.
AGOGO NEWS confirmed that the battle to hijack the PDP structure from Amaechi in Rivers State was actually masterminded by Secondus, a close ally of the ousted State Chairman, Chief G.U. Ake. He was alleged to have hidden Ake’s form while asking Felix Obuah, the factional Chairman to fill a form even when Obuah was not in contention for the position.
Secondus thus aligned forces with Nyesom Wike, the Minister for State, Education who has been the arrow head of the battle against Amaechi.
With Secondus’ performance and conviction of Mr. President that he could deliver, he was then promised a return to the NWC where he would be later positioned to edge out Bamanga Tukur, being a fellow kinsman of Jonathan.
Tukur who is now battling for survival is ssid to be unaware of the plot by the President to axe him being from the North in order to ensure that the Party’s ticket is delivered to him. The presence of Secondus and Anenih both from the South South would guarantee the President a smooth sail to power.
In all, Bamanga may be used and dumped after he has already worked against the emergence of a Northern President. His plans to en throne his son, Awwal, may then be used to compensate him or his spoiler role against his kinsmen.
It is not certain what would be the fate of Tukur in the long run as the battle rages in the PDP. Will he decide now to join the fray of the Northern leaders who have thrown their weight behind the new group led by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Kawu Baraje? Or will Tukur be disgraced out of office like Nwodo and Ogbulafor who were both sacrificed on the altar of political expediency? Time will tell.
Report filled in by: Obiaruko Ndukwe