With the emergence of Prince Uche Secondus at the weekend as the brand-new national Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the largest political party in Africa, it does appear that the PDP have started the gradual stroll back to power. This is because those who know the 62-year-old politician from Rivers State attests to his deft in politics and everything in-between.
He said after his emergence as Chairman of PDP, “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…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.”
The PDP is no doubt Nigeria’s biggest opposition party, needs a leader such as Secondus to stand any chances in the 2019 presidential election, which is also the primary target of the party. In spite of the candidates that withdrew at the eleventh hour, the convention was smooth and peaceful. But that also means that the new Chairman has a lot of work to do to calm frayed nerves.
Prince Secondus is a man well-versed with party politics in Nigeria and looks very much prepared for his latest job. He has also promised to rebuild and reposition the PDP, which he said would enable the party regain its pride of place, which the All Progressive Congress (APC) snatched away from them in 2015. But now that the PDP has settled its many problems, Secondus roared that the PDP has indeed issued a quit notice to the APC with his emergence as Chairman of the party.
Those that know him very well would tell you that is a threat the APC should take seriously if they know better. In Rivers State where Prince Secondus hails from, he was also a 2-term state chairman of the PDP. It is said that he is at home with the political leaders and the ordinary folk, which is why Secondus is popularly called thee ‘Total Chairman’.
Media reports on him has it that his strong connection with political gladiators like the River State governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, former Akwa-Ibom gover, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Foyose respectively, helped him to garner political influence among delegate across the nation all of who made sure he emerged as the new Chairman.
Mr. Secondus joined politics in 1978 during the Second Republic as the youth leader, in Rivers, for the now-defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He later became the state publicity secretary of another national party, the National Republican Convention (NRC), from 1993 to 1998. He then became the acting national chairman of the PDP in 2015 after the resignation of the then chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, following the party’s defeat in that year’s presidential election. Before then, he was the party’s deputy national chairman. During the May 2016 botched Port Harcourt convention, Mr. Secondus wanted to contest for the deputy national chairman of the PDP. But he changed his mind that year and went after the party’s top job.