PDP chair: I can’t be removed
NWC members shun meeting
President Goodluck Jonathan and governors may have bowed to pressure for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Bamanga Tukur’s removal, it was learnt yesterday.
The Presidency and the governors are believed to have advised Tukur to resign.
The party meets on Thursday to decide the fate of Tukur, who is insisting that the National Executive Committee (NEC) cannot remove him – legally. He said only the National Convention can sack him.
But there was a sign yesterday that the game was up for Tukur: NWC members boycotted a meeting he summoned.
An investigation by our correspondent revealed that wider consultations of stakeholders by the President favoured Tukur’s exit.
The stakeholders include governors, Board of Trustees (BoT) members, members of the National Assembly and state party chairmen.
A source said: “The President listened to most of the stakeholders, including NWC members, and those who are pro-Tukur. The preponderance of opinions was against Tukur.
“As a democrat and the National Leader of the party, the President and the governors have no choice than to accept the decision of the majority. The consensus is that Tukur must go.
“Although the President acknowledged the sacrifice Tukur made to serve PDP at old age, he said the party ought to move forward as overwhelmingly demanded by stakeholders.
“The alternative for Tukur is to accept another public offer as the President deems fit. I think the President might still accommodate Tukur in what may look like a ‘no victor, no vanquished’ deal.
But, according to source, Tukur said contrary to insinuations, he is agile and healthy to carry on as the national chairman.
He also joined issues with the party by claiming that the NEC cannot remove him from office; only the National Convention can.
Another source said: “The presidency and many governors have advised Tukur to resign but he insisted that nothing was wrong with him.
“He warned the party against committing illegality by prevailing on the NEC to remove him.”
Tukur was quoted as saying: “I am agile, active and healthy to lead the PDP. I have no any challenge.”
In spite of his adamant posture, it was fresh trouble yesterday in Abuja when NWC members boycotted a weekly meeting summoned by Tukur.
Although all the NWC members were at the National Secretariat, none of them surfaced at the meeting.
It was learnt that Tukur was left stranded as he only sat for about 30 minutes awaiting the aggrieved NWC members.
The NWC members passed a vote of no confidencae in Tukur at a session with the President on Thursday night at the Presidential Villa.
A member of the NWC said: “We did not attend the meeting convened by Tukur because his loyalists have accused us of taking bribes of N30million or N40million to remove him.
“We want the allegation proven because our hard-earned image is at stake. We cannot sit down with Tukur and be confronted with another insinuation of bribery.
“Besides, the truth is that the game is up for Tukur, he should leave.
“He is saying that the NEC cannot remove him, but he has forgotten that the same NEC can take decision on behalf of the National Convention of the party.”
The search for a new National Chairman for the PDP has started, with the odds in favour of ex-Governor Adamu Muazu.
FCT Minister Bala Mohammed was said to have been pencilled for the job, but he “tactically” rejected it because of his governorship ambition in Bauchi State.
“Also, some leaders wanted the Chairman of TETFUND, Musa Babayo, but he was also no longer keen due to political exigency. Babayo had defeated Tukur at the Zonal Congress for the slot,” another source said, adding:
“The stakeholders are building consensus on ex-Governor Adamu Muazu, who is rated as a bridge-builder with a cosmopolitan outlook. He is also an associate of the President.
“If Muazu will come on board, the party leaders need to reconcile him with Governor Isa Yuguda who cannot be comfortable having his political rival as the leader of PDP. It is like sealing the political fate of Yuguda.”
Source: The Nation