Monday, September 16, 2013

PDP Crisis: Jonathan agrees in principle to fire Tukur

President Goodluck Jonathan may have finally agreed to sacrifice the
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur,
in order to achieve the peaceful resolution of the festering crisis
within the ruling party.
Mr. Jonathan was said to have yielded to the demands of the seven
aggrieved governors of the party, with whom he met last Sunday night,
to withdraw his support for Mr. Tukur and remove him from the
But the Presidency later insisted on Monday that Mr. Tukur would not
quit his position because the party's constitution stipulated
processes for the removal or resignation of a chairman.
It also said that nobody could stop Mr. Jonathan from exercising his
constitutional right to contest the 2015 presidential election.
The governors – Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu
Wamakko (Sokoto), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa),
Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers) and Abdufatah Ahmed (Kwara), all of who
belong to the "New PDP" met with the president and some governors
loyal to him, at the Presidential Villa to seek ways of resolving the
crisis in the party
Joined by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and other chieftains
of the PDP, the governors had floated the "New PDP" last August 31,
while the Special National Convention of the ruling party was in
Before now, five of the governors visited some leaders and elder
statesmen in the country during which they canvassed the resignation
of the national chairman who they described as "incompetent."
While the governors' campaign was on, Mr Tukur himself kicked against
the calls for his removal, insisting that he was in the party to
render patriotic service to the country.
Sources at the Sunday's meeting told PREMIUMTIMESthat the one of the
conditions given to Mr Jonathan by the aggrieved governors at the
trouble-shooting meeting, was that Mr. Tukur should be relieved of his
Other issues canvassed at the meeting were that the President should
drop his 2015 presidential ambition and that he should restrain the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) from going after
It was gathered that Mr Jonathan, who was accompanied to the talks by
Governors Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom,
Idris Wada of Kogi States as well as the Chairman of the PDP Board of
Trustees, Tony Anenih, agreed in principle to get the national
chairman out with a view to achieving early resolution of the crisis
in the party.
The president also agreed to restore the Adamawa State PDP executive
committee loyal to Mr Nyako. The governor's faction is headed by
Mijinyawa Kugama while the committee loyal to Mr Tukur, an indigene of
the state, is led by Joel Madaki.
Meanwhile, the Presidency said on Monday that Mr Tukur would not lose
his position despite the demand by the governors for his removal.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak,
who stated in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said the
constitution of the ruling party had already stipulated the criteria
for the removal of its chairmen.
Mr Gulak, who was not at the Sunday night meeting, was fielding
questions from journalists on the outcome of the reconciliation
meeting between the president and the aggrieved governors.
He argued that the call for the removal of the PDP chairman was not in
line with due process.
"The national chairman has no problem; he was elected and I always say
that as there are processes for election, there are processes for
removal or resignation," the presidential aide said.
"So nobody can cajole anybody to say the national chairman will not
survive. Nobody is against the national chairman."
Mr. Gulak also said that Mr Jonathan had never interfered with the
investigations of the EFCC, insisting that as an independent agency it
was wrong for anyone to feel the president would direct it to
investigate anybody, including the governors.

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