Monday, 13 January 2014

Goodluck Jonathan Asked Tukur To Honourably Resign Now or Face PDP NEC’s Decision

Goodluck Jonathan and Tukur
Piqued by the widespread agitations for the removal of the national chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to honourably turn in his resignation letter before the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for Thursday this week.

In the alternative, LEADERSHIP learnt, President Jonathan has pointedly told the embattled national chairman that the party’s NEC would decide his fate.

This development comes on the heels of pressures being mounted on the president by some close associates to retain Tukur against all odds. Tukur maintains his usual grandstanding, saying he won’t quit office as he did nothing wrong.

An impeccable presidency source yesterday told LEADERSHIP in confidence that President Jonathan held another stormy session with Tukur on Saturday to ascertain most of the allegations levelled against him by some members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) at the meeting they had with the president on Thursday at the presidential villa.

The source said immediately after the president’s arrival from the ECOWAS Summit in Abidjan, Cote de’ Voire, Tukur was summoned to the villa to brief the president with records of meetings of the NWC and venues that such meetings took place.

One of the allegations against Tukur is that he holds NWC meetings at his Wuse 2 residence instead of the party’s Wadata Plaza headquarters.

Said the source: “It is wrong for people to always think Mr President is shielding the national chairman of the party from wrongdoings; it is absolutely untrue that the president insists on Tukur’s stay as chairman.

“Some of you might not know that each time there are problems or calls for his removal, the same NWC members would come to the villa and say there is peace and that all is well.

“But in this case, as you have all seen, the chicken has come home to roost, as the same NWC members have opened up on the man that he is the problem we need to deal with; other critical stakeholders are of the same view and even very powerful elders and members of the BoT have secretly sent in submissions that Tukur is not helping both himself and the party; no governor except one is speaking or pleading for him.

“So when he came yesterday (on Saturday) to the villa, it was a very serious case because, for the first time, the president has told Tukur he won’t plead for him, and if he knows he does not have the majority members of the PDP NEC on his side, he should just go and resign before the NEC on Thursday.

“I can tell you the president will not defend or plead with any NEC member to save Tukur because whatever the NEC says on him will be his fate; the president cannot continue to solve national problems and, at the same time, be carrying the burden of the party chairman who ordinarily should be of help to him.”

Meanwhile, as a member of the PDP NEC challenged Tukur to state what particular progress the party has made under him, the embattled national chairman has insisted that he will not quit office as demanded by the NWC members whom he had accused of going after him to hurt Jonathan’s ambition in 2015.

The NEC member who spoke on condition of anonymity said before the NWC members’ meeting with the president on Thursday, they had individually and collectively complained to elders of the party about how Tukur had been running the party.

“I think the national chairman should know that the game is up for him because for a majority of his NWC members to courageously confront him means that he has lost control.

“We know as a matter of fact that some of the NWC members have been complaining for long that Tukur was rocking the boat; and for the chairman to come out without being circumspect that the NWC members were after him because they want President Jonathan to fail is the cheapest of all blackmail that one can imagine in the world.

“Assuming but not conceding that the NWC members collected money, who bribed the governors not to speak on behalf of Tukur? For the party to move ahead, I think the NEC should be allowed to take a decision on the man so that we can forge ahead.

“As far as I know, the NWC members who opened up only saved the party because it will be suicidal for the president to continue to keep and protect Tukur and lose more important leaders of the party, and for Tukur to claim he will deliver Jonathan alone is the height of slap on the face of party members,” the NEC member said.

The NEC member further disclosed that it was wrong for Tukur to accuse the NWC members of being induced with money, saying it was cheap blackmail. This is even as it emerged that Tukur met with some deputies of the substantive NWC members at his Wuse 2 residence yesterday morning with a view to inciting them against the NWC members who moved against him.

LEADERSHIP, however, learnt that Tukur’s desire to make the deputies address a press conference in condemnation of the vote of no confidence passed on him on Thursday was futile.

But Tukur’s media aide, Oliver Okpala, said his principal has done nothing to warrant being sacked.
“What in particular has he done that the NWC members are calling for his sack? This is a man who, as a founding father of the party, contributed more than any of those calling for his sack. He has carried all along, except that he will not cave to their whims and caprices in the way of doing things,” Okpala said.

Meanwhile, NWC members of the PDP have vowed to boycott today’s meeting of the body called by Tukur. Multiple sources in the NWC confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the needed quorum for the meeting would not be achieved.

According to the sources, three members out of the 12-man NWC would however be mandated to attend the meeting and hear him out.

Save Tukur’s Job, Adamawa PDP Elders tell Jonathan
Meanwhile, elders and stakeholders of the PDP in Tukur’s home state, Adamawa, have appealed to President Jonathan to stop members of the party’s NWC from removing the party’s national chairman.
They argued that any move against Tukur would have adverse effect on the party in the 2015 general elections.

They condemned the vote of no confidence passed on Tukur by some members of the NWC of the party who are also asking the president to withdraw his support for the national chairman.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Dr Umar Ardo, the Adamawa State PDP Stakeholders and Elders Forum noted that the same members of the NWC who were led by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to reverse the dissolution of the Pro-Nyako-led Kugama EXCO in Adamawa State in January last year were the ones perpetrating the act.

According to the forum, these forces in the NWC are only trying “to create needless constitutional crisis for the party in an election year on the altar of self-ego of the opponents of the national chairman”.

The Elders Forum alleged that the plan is to further denigrate the party’s standing on the sanctity of elections and constitutionalism as the basis of holding public offices in Nigeria.

“We therefore appeal to the president not only to prevail on all the key national organs of the party to see reason and protect the national chairman but he should also call to immediate order these reactionary members of the PDP’s NWC to henceforth put the interest of the party above all other considerations,” the forum noted

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