Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Tukur must go, PDP state chairmen insist
The resolution of the party chairmen came amid moves by party stakeholders to resolve the leadership crisis in the party with the embattled Tukur fighting on all fronts and changing strategies to retain his office.
His efforts, including the conscription of peacemakers to meet aggrieved governors, however, suffered a setback, with the resolution of the chairmen who joined Tukur's colleagues in the National Working Committee, NWC to reject his continued leadership of the party.
Besides the state chairmen, all but two of the deputies to the members of NWC were said to have also turned against Tukur despite his earlier efforts to court them.
The state chairmen at press time met in the Utako area of the Federal Capital just as about the same time that the national caucus, comprising leading stakeholders including President Goodluck Jonathan, principal officers of the National Assembly; the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih; Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio commenced a meeting in the presidential villa.
The chairmen said that the party had suffered seriously under Tukur's leadership and pledged their determination to use every energy to ensure he was removed.
Sources at the meeting of the state chairmen told Vanguard last night that they were convinced that only the removal of Tukur from office would save the party from implosion.
The meeting which was taking place at 3J Hotel, Utako under the chairmanship of Eng. Emmanuel Agbo, the Benue State chairman of the party Vita Abba, (Enugu), Chief Dan Orbih, (Edo), Peter Nwaoboshi, (Delta), Alhaji Rabiu Gambo Bakori (Katsina) and 25 other chairmen in attendance.
One of the state chairmen present at the meeting told Vanguard last night that they were prepared to use their number, 37, which is the single highest voting bloc in the National Executive Committee, NEC, to force Tukur out.
Why we want Tukur out
"We have passed a vote of no confidence on Tukur as National Chairman of the party," one of the chairmen said.
"The truth is that while the PDP governors are only found in PDP governed states, we have PDP chairmen in all 36 states and we have said that our action is predicated on our determination to save the party. We want to save the party and we have the controlling bloc vote," the state chairman told Vanguard on the sidelines of the meeting last night.
It was learnt that the state chairmen had been exchanging views on the problems in the party and were now preparing strategies to ensure that Tukur is removed.
It was learnt that the chairmen at that meeting lamented the dwindling fortunes of the party as a result of what one described as "Tukur's lack of direction and his inability to give leadership to the party."
One source said that the chairmen threatened that they would abandon the party for Tukur if he refuses to resign saying: "It is evident that some of the state chairmen are threatening that they would resign enmasse from the party if Tukur is not relieved of his position as the future of the party cannot be guaranteed by the clueless leadership of Tukur," a party chairman present at the meeting said, though he was not categorical if he would himself resign.
I'm on the same page with Jonathan — Tukur
Earlier yesterday, Tukur in a bid to save his job issued a statement clarifying his assertion on Monday that only the national convention could remove him from office.
He said that his mission ahead of the 2015 Presidential election was to provide a shield for President Jonathan, saying that they were on the same page to move the party and the country forward. He affirmed that he would never dare his leaders especially President Jonathan, but support him in all ramifications.
In the statement he personally signed, Tukur said:
"I want to assure Nigerians and outs