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Tukur retained as PDP Chairman

By The Rainbow
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The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday retained Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the party.

Apprehensions were high that the party would do away with him as his leadership is seen in several quarters as divisive..

However, the highly revered PDP thought otherwise.

Following the sack of his deputy, Sam Jaja, and the resignation of other members of the PDP National Working Committee, political pundits had predicted that Mr. Tukur would be booted out of office if he failed to resign before the NEC meeting.

It is not yet clear what would be the game plan of the governors of PDP, most of whom have been insisting on the removal of the chairman as a condition for the return of peace in the party.

Before the meeting commenced, Mr. Tukur in an interview with Channels Television had insisted he would not resign from being the PDP National Chairman.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh had on Wednesday announced his resignation from membership of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and political analysts had said they expected Mr Tukur as well as other members of the NWC to follow suit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had, a few months ago, declared that the process through which Mr. Metuh and some other members of the PDP National Working Committee (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.

Barring any last minute changes, the PDP has slated July 15 to hold a mini-national convention to endorse the changes in the National Working Committee (NWC) following the resignation of some of its members which was adopted by NEC in Thursday's meeting.

Before the mini-national convention, however, the party will also hold zonal congresses on July 13 nationwide.

The purpose of the zonal congresses and mini-convention is to hold elections into positions for those 16 members of the NWC that the report of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had indicated that their election did not meet the PDP election guidelines.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who attended the NEC meeting along with Vice President Namadi Sambo expressed deep worries over the continuing violence in most parts of the North.

The President, who expressed this concern while delivering the opening remark at the meeting of the Board of Trustee of the PDP, refuted claims that all the killings are perpetuated by members of the Boko Haram sect.

President Jonathan said reports reaching him indicated that the violence especially that of Zamfara State was purely ethnic cleansing and wondered why ethnic groups that have lived together for several decades resort to killing themselves.

Gunmen stormed four villages in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, killing scores in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The President commented on the progress made in restoring the nation's economy noting that despite the challenge of corruption, he was optimistic that Nigeria would be a better place to live in, in the next five years.