Uche Secondus Develops Cold Feet after emerging as PDP Chairman
The newly sworn in national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has expressed apprehension and uncertainty about the party’s return to power in 2019, saying it is going to be herculean a task.
He however noted that it is achievable, just as he assured that he would ensure internal democracy is enthroned in the party.
Secondus, a former deputy national chairman of the PDP was sworn in as the new chairman of the party in the early hours of yesterday after defeating all the aspirants who contested the coveted position with him in the party’s national elective convention held at Eagle Square, Abuja.
Protests had trailed his victory, with two aspirants, Prof Tunde Adeniran, former minister of Education, and media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi, rejecting the outcome of the contest.
Before then, former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George; former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; former governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje and Olusegun Aderemi had withdrawn from the race for different reasons.
But Secondus, while making his acceptance speech, extended his hand of fellowship to other chairmanship aspirants, urging them to join hands with him to rebuild the party.
Noting that returning PDP to power in 2019 will not be easy, he said, “By my understanding, the mandate you have given us today is clear and unambiguous. It is to return our party to power come 2019. As Herculean as this mandate seems, I know it’s achievable. My campaign pillars for this election are ‘To Rebuild, Reposition and Regain’.
“Let me assure you great members and leaders of our party that by the grace of God and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 28, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice.
“This has to be immediate in order to save our beloved country from disintegration. We are all witnesses to how the unity of this country has been shaken to its very foundation under the watch of the rudderless and clueless APC. We therefore have a gigantic task of retrieving this country from APC’s clear lack of direction and confusion starting with the Presidency”.
He continued: “I stand before you this day, humbled by the mandate you just given to my colleagues and I to lead this great party at this time in Nigeria’s political history. We wholeheartedly accept it with extreme gratitude.
“Eighteen years ago specifically February 14, 1999, this party made history with its first ever national convention in Jos, Plateau State and since then, has grown to become undisputedly, the largest political party on the African continent.
“I recall that before that, precisely on the 19th of August, 1998, our founding fathers gathered here in Abuja to give birth to this party whose aims and objectives were patriotic, with lofty and visionary dreams”.
Secondus further said it had become crystal clear to all Nigerians that APC is not a political party, but a body hurriedly assembled to seize power without a clear cut plan for governance.
He noted that PDP was founded on ideals, which are totally in tandem with those of the founding fathers of this great country.
His words: “Those founding fathers had in mind a prosperous and lasting democracy as captured in the preamble of our constitution clearly stating their desire for a free and egalitarian society. Even in our perceived failure of 2015, we chose to abide by our strong faith in democracy, willingly conceding power to opposition, thereby elevating the democratic status of Nigeria. We are the true democrats!
“I can therefore say, without an iota of doubt, that PDP’s contributions to the growth and sustenance of democracy in this country in the last 18 years remain unequalled. The best way to celebrate the memories of these founding fathers is to ensure that the ideals are continuously engaged.
“With your mandate, I assure you that all necessary steps will be taken to avoid a repeat of our past mistakes. Indeed we have learnt our lessons and by this convention, we are now set to forge a new path for our great party and Nigeria. Under my watch, Internal democracy will be strictly adhered to, with a deliberate policy to return ‘real’ power to the people.
“No more imposition, no more impunity. Every member of this party can from this moment consider him or herself an equal shareholder in our common destiny. I call on all Nigerians of all creed and class to embrace this new PDP and join in this quest for a new Nigeria. Particularly, I reach out to our old members, who for one reason or the other have left the party, to please come back home”.
Acknowledging that his co-contestants for the chairmanship position, Secondus said any one of them is eminently qualified to lead the party.
‘I thank you for a worthy contest and being part of history as this marks the first time such a highly competitive contest to produce the leadership of a political party has been held in Nigeria. You have every cause to stand tall and I now extend my hand of fellowship to you all. Let ‘US’ Rebuild, Reposition & Regain”, he added.