Hope of a quick resolution of the festering crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be a mirage, if the latest feelers from the party are anything to go by.
Sunday Tribune can authoritatively reveal that the division within the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) has widened, as many of the members are said to have voiced out their displeasure over the style of administration of its National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Some of these aggrieved NWC members were said to have viewed Tukur’s big stick-wielding style as being against the provisions of the party’s constitutionand inimical to its growth and progress.
It was gathered that some members of the NWC were not happy over the alleged harsh manner Tukur had been treating PDP governors who, apart from the Presidency, are the major financiers of the party. It was said that the chairman was treating them as “glorified house boys,” especially with his latest statement that aggrieved PDP governors were free to quit the party, if they so liked.
According to a member of the NWC, who spoke with Sunday Tribune in Kaduna on Saturday, that Tukur could say “our aggrieved governors are free to leave the party, if they like, and see whether the party would survive or not is too much. Such a statement sends a wrong signal to the members of the public that all is not well in the PDP.
“To most of us, the leaders, that is the personal opinion of the national chairman and not the opinions of the NWC, the National Executive Committee (NEC), the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the party as a whole. It is only the NEC that has the power to take such a decision.”
He explained further that “it will even interest you to hear that most of these contending issues that are causing these lingering crises are not usually brought to the NWC meeting for debates. We may just hear on the air or read in the newspapers that the PDP NWC has done this or has resolved to suspend someone or even set up a committee to do something which is not known to our constitution. So, we are a bit confused about the running of the party for now; things should not continue like this. I think the founding fathers of theparty should wade in before it is too late.”
Some of the aggrieved PDP governors and members of the National Assembly, Sunday Tribune learnt, had been mounting pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into the crises and remove Alhaji Tukur, who they saw as the architect of the crisis engulfing the party. It was said that keeping Tukur at his post would be inimical to his re-election in 2015.
The aggrieved governors and members of the National Assembly, it was gathered, had been contacting some respected founding members of theparty, as well as members of the BoT, over the need for them to meet with President Jonathan, deliberate on the way forward and put an end to the current “one-man show in the administration of the party,” so as not to play into the hands of the opposition in the next general election.
President calls peace meeting In a related development, Sunday Tribune gathered on Saturday that based on the various emissaries coming to him on a daily basis, over the crises in the PDP, President Jonathan has reportedly summoned all the PDP governors for a peace meeting scheduled to hold in Abuja tomorrow.
A Presidency source told Sunday Tribune in Abuja that President Jonathan, as leader of the party, took the action to find a lasting solution to the crisis so that the party would regain its leadership footings and plan ahead of the 2015general election.
Following this development, Sunday Tribune gathered, the PDP governors, who had been warring among themselves, would bury the hatchets and hold a crucial meeting in Abuja tonight with a view to presenting a common agenda on the way forward to resolve the crisis.
Though the position of most of the PDP governors had always been that the party’s national chairman should step aside to allow for a neutral and less controversial person to take over, with the recent formation of the PDPGovernors’ Forum and the crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, which they said resulted in Alhaji Tukur winning only a few of the governors into his camp.
Sunday Tribune, however, learnt that some of the governors were also said to be of the opinion that if they fail to support the current move to remove Alhaji Tukur, they might be the next victims of the treatment meted to GovernorsRotimi Amaechi and Aliyu Wammako, who until recently, were considered to be his favourites.
The source revealed that it was the same Governor Amaechi who went round, last year, to convince his governor-colleagues on the need to support the candidature of Alhaji Tukur as the national chairman of the party.