PDP Chairmanship: Presidency, Governors Frustrated Over Tukur's Refusal To Step Down
As State Party Chairmen Demand His Removal PDP Emergency Caucus Meeting Adjourned BEVERLY HILLS, CA, January 14, (THEWILL) - The Presidency and influential Governors of states controlled by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are frustrated by the refusal of embattled Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to resign from office and save the party from further crisis, THEWILL can report.
THEWILL gathered from sources with knowledge of the development that President Goodluck Jonathan and Governors of the party under the aegis of the PDP Governors Forum have been pressing Tukur to resign due to his dismal leadership and the crisis between him and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), as well as those in the National Executive Committee (NEC).
The embattled National Chairman had told journalists that only a properly conducted national convention of the party and no one, not even Jonathan can remove him from office.
During an emergency Caucus meeting at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday night, where a final decision was expected on Tukur, the party chairman pleaded with stakeholders not to humiliate him out of office whilst still maintaining that only the party's convention could oust him from office.
One source with knowledge of talks at the meeting said Tukur's plea for time to rebuild confidence amongst members of the party's executive and stakeholders was opposed particularly by the Chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr.
Godswill Akpabio, who has the mandate of other governors to force Tukur's ouster.
The meeting was attended by President Jonathan as well as Vice President Namadi Sambo and other senior party members, including Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, House Leader Mulikat Akande, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, Kaduna State Governor Ibrahim Shema, Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus; National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; former Deputy Chairman, Bode George; BoT Chairman, Mr.
Tony Anenih; BoT Secretary Mr.
Walid Jubril; Minister of Justice, Mr.
Bello Adoke (SAN); and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, amongst others.
However, Tukur's refusal to go has escalated the crisis in the party which has already lost five state governors as well as several influential members in the National Assembly to the main opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The Presidency, Governors and several stakeholders see Tukur's stubbornness as blackmail and a move to further destroy the party and make the President continue to look weak, one senior party member told THEWILL.
'The President already looks weak with the whole crisis.
Tukur's refusal to go means the President has lost complete control of the party.
This is not good for the PDP.
Tukur cannot be bigger than the party,' the influential stakeholder from the South said.
The Presidency had planned to use the emergency Caucus meeting to convince Tukur to step down before the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party slated for this Thursday.
The Caucus meeting adjourned and is scheduled to reconvene on Wednesday at 6.
pm, according to Vice President Sambo, who briefed state house correspondents.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the PDP governors and President Jonathan has been slated for 5.
pm on Wednesday with Tukur as the main agenda, another source told THEWILL.
In a related development, the chairmen of the state chapters of the party under the aegis of the Conference of PDP State Chairmen have passed a vote of no confidence on Tukur during a meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday night with 30 chairmen in attendance.
The Conference which met at the 3J Hotel in the Utako District of the FCT, called for the removal of the embattled National Chairman saying it would save the party from implosion because 'he has lost confidence across board.
' The 37 state party chairmen are members of the PDP NEC, which had in the past successfully forced the resignation of at least two erstwhile national party chairmen, Chief Audu Ogbe and Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.