The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced the search for a successor to the party’s National Chairman, Uche Secondus, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The party leaders, including sitting governors, ex-governors and stakeholders, who are under pressure from the All Progressives Congress (APC), to defect to the ruling party, are said to be bidding time over the expected leadership change before making up their minds on the next steps.
A member of the NWC who spoke to journalists on Sunday, said with Secondus’ tenure expiring in December, the party is seriously looking for a successor who would reposition the party for success in the 2023 elections.
The “stress in the party, which is fueled by 2023 aspirations, might lead to a change earlier than the exit date of the NWC,” the party stalwart said.
Those pushing for a change in PDP leadership feel the party has been weakened by its defeat in the 2019 elections.
They are also alleging that some governors and party leaders are dictating the pace in PDP, a situation that has further polarised the party.
The source added: “It is true that APC is reaching out to more PDP leaders to defect. The return of ex-House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to the APC has emboldened the ruling party.
“I think they are trying to woo ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and a former President of the Senate. Some PDP leaders who are discussing with the APC, are also waiting for the choice of the new chairman of the ruling party before their defection.
“The ex-Senate President may dump the PDP if ex-Governor Abdulaziz Yari emerges the new APC national chairman.
“The PDP is muzzled at present by a few governors and leaders. Most PDP members are not happy with the state of things. These governors behave as if they own the party.
“The reality is that some governors and PDP leaders are secretly shopping for a successor for Secondus. They are saying if there is no leadership change, the APC may reduce the PDP to a carcass in the next one year.”