PDP: I Won't Resign, NWC Still Intact, Says Tukur
…No vacancy for National Chairmanship seat – Metuh
…We’ve not taken a final decision on Tukur - Ekweremadu
SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, (THEWILL) – Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) ) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said on Tuesday that he won’t resign his position.
Tukur, who was reacting to media report that he had been asked to resign and dissolve the NWC of the party, said there was no truth in the report.
"It is not true that I am resigning. Resign for what? It is not true at all. We are here to run the PDP and we have done so and we will continue to run the PDP," he said .
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, also said there is no vacancy for the national chairmanship position. But Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said the party had not taken a final decision on Tukur as it was still consulting with stakeholders.
Tukur made the declaration while speaking with journalists after the NWC met with President Jonathan in Abuja as he disclosed that only "the eight people, all the deputies, and ex-officios and the rest of them whose election in the convention was not voted for," are those affected by the President’s directive.
Though a major shake-up is being envisaged, he disclosed that the National Financial Secretary, the National Auditor and the National Secretary, whose position had been vacant following the sacking of the former Osun State governor , Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, would not be affected . He added that only those positions in the NWC that were not properly filled are the ones that would be 'regularised'.
According to the national chairman, about eight of the NWC officials would be expected to step down but they may seek fresh mandate if they so wish.
Tukur’s declaration however came as the party's Board of Trustees (BOT) prepares to meet on Wednesday with the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party expected to have its turn on Thursday.
The National Publicity Secetary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, also confirmed that Tukur would not be resigning, saying "It is not true chairman is resigning . The chairman is not only in office, he is in power. In PDP, there is no vacancy in the national chairmanship."
Metuh disclosed that they were at the Presidential Villa to meet with the president to seek ways of regularising the NWC in order to meet the requirements of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
"The meeting is about regularising the family of PDP because there was INEC observation, some of the members of the NWC we not properly elected so it has to be regularised.
"Those who have not been elected will resign and they will go back, they will have opportunity to regularize,” he said.
As part of the preparations for Wednesday’s meeting, President Jonathan also met with the leadership of the National Assembly and the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) Tuesday evening. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha represented their leaders.
Details of the meeting were not made public before the party’s caucus later proceeded to the Banquet Hall of the State House for another round of meeting.
But Ekweremadu disclosed that the party had not taken a final decision on Tukur’s resignation, saying "We are still consulting. “ According to him, “In the evening , we are going to have a party of the national caucus of the party and look at all the options available to the party. This is party of consultation. (We hope) that by tomorrow or later this evening we (will) have a position of the PDP on this issue,” he disclosed.
He said only four members of the National Assembly attended the meeting with the President because the National Assembly is on break and members have travelled. “ But because of the consultation going on, some are on their way back. The Speaker is on his way back to Abuja, the Senate President ought to have travelled to China, he is also on his way back. He has changed his plans to come back. The Senate leader is also on his way back from Calabar, the House leader is also on her way back.
‘I'm sure in the next one hour or two they will all be back because we are on vacation and this meeting was quiet impromptu. We have contacted all of them and they are all coming back,” he explained.
On the PDP crisis, Ekweremadu said: "Every family has their own issues, the PDP is not an exception. The most important thing is e ability to resolve those issues and this why you can see consultations going on. So I am hopeful that we will come out of the crisis much more stronger.”