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The Standard Gazette
Online Daily News Portal | Online Newspapers

PDP to sack Tukur to avoid more defections

•Abba Gana, Hassan Adamu, Boni Haruna on the list

Face reality and take PDP as opposition party
PDP tear apart and APC Smiles behind

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors are having a fresh go at the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamabga Tukur.

The governors want him out at all costs even with the exit, from the party, of five of their colleagues who initiated the ‘Tukur Must Go Campaign’.

Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), left the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently following the reluctance of the PDP hierarchy to sack Tukur.

The exit of the five governors is causing ripples in the PDP and the remaining governors resolved at a meeting in Abuja on Friday night that only Tukur’s removal could restore sanity to the party.

They also backed repositioning of the party and reconciliation of the aggrieved governors and members to put PDP in good stead for the 2015 poll.

The governors were scheduled to go into another round of meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan last night on Tukur’s exit and other issues bothering the party.

The PDP governors, sources told The Nation, met at the Akwa Ibom Lodge in Abuja preparatory to their audience with the president last night.

It was gathered that the crisis which led to the defection of five governors and the fate of Tukur dominated discussions.

Some of the governors suggested a soft-landing for Tukur with a choice ambassadorial appointment.

A source said: “The governors admitted that a change of party leadership is crucial to any reconciliation in PDP. They also said they have realised that with Tukur still in charge, some governors are just managing to stay in PDP.

“They called for pre-emptive steps to prevent more defections from PDP to the main opposition coalition, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“They also agreed that PDP cannot afford to be in tatters if it wants to win the 2015 poll. So, they have opted for far-reaching reforms in the party where all members and organs will play their roles without inhibitions.”

But the governors were unable to agree on where Tukur’s successor should come from.

While some suggested the retention of the office in Adamawa State, others were of the opinion that the new chairman should come from any of Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba or Borno states.

The governors of Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states were said to be opposed to their states producing the next National Chairman of the party because of likely interference by such a chairman in the affairs of the local PDP. They recalled the incessant disagreements between Tukur and Nyako and between Dr. Okwesilize Nwodo and Governor Sullivan Chime in Enugu State.

Those being speculated include a former acting National Secretary of PDP, Alhaji Musa Babayo; former Governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu; former Ambassador to the United States, who is also the Wakilin Adamawa, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, (Adamawa); Mr. Boni Haruna, former governor of Adamawa State; Political Adviser to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak; Senator John Wampana and a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Abba Gana.

A source said former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, who is a strategist for the president, and some party leaders were backing Abba Gana to give PDP a leverage in Borno and Yobe states.

The Borno-Yobe axis is also said to be under-represented in appointments at the federal level.

Although some leaders are rooting for Babayo, it was learnt that he may prefer running for governorship to the National Chairman post.

One of the governors said: “I will not say we have abandoned or ditched anyone, but we have suggestions on the way forward. We will present these recommendations to the president who is the National Leader of the party. It is left to him to accept or not.

“By the time we meet, we will be able to chart a new course for the party. But there will be no winner or loser in the end.

“Note it: we are in a period where we must sacrifice to move the party forward.”

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