I won't resign as PDP chairman -Tukur
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, on Tuesday said he would not resign on Thursday as published by a local newspaper.
Addressing journalists after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Mr Tukur said elections would be held for the positions, not contested for, during the last national executive council meeting.
He dismissed as untrue and complete falsehood stories that President Jonathan had directed the leadership of the party to resign or be prepared to be booted out by Thursday.
A Nigerian newspaper had on Monday reported that Mr Tukur would be succeeded by former Bauchi State governor, Ahmed Adamu Mu'azu.
According to the report, Mr. Tukur's resignation is coming on the heels of the report of the Anyim Pius Anyim Committee set up by President Jonathan, recommending the resignation of the NWC members in line with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) report which termed as void the process through which the NWC members emerged.
'Chairman is there dam! dam! The chairman is not only in office, he is also in power. In PDP, there is no vacancy in the national chairmanship,' he boasted to State House correspondents after the party's National Working Committee meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ahead of the PDP National Executive Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, there had been reports that Tukur and other members of the NWC of the PDP had been directed by Jonathan to resign.
Tukur told the State House correspondents that he would not resign as the national chairman of the party because 'we are here to run the PDP.'
'It is not true that I am resigning. Resign for what? It is not true at all. We will continue to run the PDP,' he added, but went ahead to confirm that eight members of the NWC whose elections were faulted by the Independent National Electoral Commission would resign.
He said himself, the National Financial Secretary, the National Auditor and the National Secretary whose office is already vacant were not affected.
Those who will resign, according to Tukur, are all the deputies, and all ex-officio members.
He said, 'The meeting with the President was about regularising the family of the PDP because there was INEC observation that some of the members of the NWC were 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 the opportunity to regularise.
'About eight people are affected. There are people that are not affected, these are the National Chairman, the National Financial Secretary, National Auditor and of course the National Secretary which is vacant now.
'The other eight people, all the deputies, and ex-officials and the rest of them whose election in the convention was not voted for are affected.'
In preparing for fresh elections for the affected party officials, Tukur said, 'We are going to have party caucus tonight (Tuesday), we are going to have BOT tomorrow (Wednesday) and we are going to have our NEC on Thursday.'
Those who will resign are the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh; Deputy National Chairman, Sam Jaja; National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Okechukwu Nnadozie; Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Binta Goje; National Youth Leader, Garba Chiza; Deputy Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge Niyi; Deputy National Auditor, Umar Ibrahim; National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; Deputy National Women Leader, Hannatu Ulam; Deputy National Treasurer, Claudus Inengas; and National Legal Adviser, Victor Gwom.
One of our correspondents gathered that in spite of Tukur's insistence that he would not resign, some PDP governors, including Sule Lamido, were pushing for his removal.
A member of the NWC, who pleaded anonymity, said, 'The governors and other leaders of the party that are against us are insisting that all of us must go. If he (Tukur) does not resign, they will boot him out on Thursday.'
INEC had, a few months ago, declared that the process through which some of the members of the PDP NWC emerged in the party's national convention last year was unacceptable and illegal.
The electoral umpire had condemned the exercise, noting that the process which produced 12 of the 16-member exco violated paragraph 6.5 (1) of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2012 congresses and national convention and, therefore, void.
The commission had listed the national officers of the party whose election violated the stipulated provision to include: deputy national chairman, Sam Sam Jaja, national organising secretary, Abubakar Mustapha, his deputy Okechukwu Nnadozie, national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, his deputy Binta Goje, national youth leader Garba Chiza, his deputy Dennis Alonge Niyi, deputy national auditor, Umar Ibrahim, national women leader, Kema Chikwe, her deputy, Hannatu Ulam, deputy national treasurer, Claudus Inengas and national legal adviser, Victor Kwon.
According to INEC's acting director, legal, Ibrahim Bawa, 'The mode of election adopted for single candidates was not in accordance with the mode of election stipulated in paragraph 6.5 (i) of the guidelines for the conduct of the year 2012 congresses and national convention and, therefore, not acceptable to the commission.'
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said leaders of the PDP were still consulting over the fate of Tukur and other party executives whose jobs were on the line.
Ekweremadu spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting Jonathan had with the leadership of the National Assembly on the crises in the party.
He said though the meeting was a routine one, it dealt specifically with the party's issues since the leaders were all members of the party.
'We are still consulting on the matter (resignation of party executives) in the evening (Tuesday), we are going to have a meeting of the national caucus of the party and look at all the options available to the party. This is part of the consultation so that by tomorrow (Wednesday) or later this evening (Tuesday), we will have a position of the PDP on this issue,' he said.
President of the Senate, David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwwal; and some other leaders of the National Assembly were absent at the meeting.
Asked if the National Assembly which is dominated by the PDP was not worried by the crises, he replied, 'every family has their own issues, the PDP is not an exception.'
Also reacting to Tukur's travails, a former National Vice-Chairman (North-West) of the PDP, Senator Danladi Sankara, said Tukur needed to go for sanity to return to the party.
'Our party is bigger than Bamanga Tukur. His tenure as national Chairman has been nothing but disaster for the party,' he told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday.
He explained that Tukur and members of his team had dragged the party's reputation to its lowest ebb.