The embattled National Chairman of the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, may bow out of office sooner than expected as there are strong indications that he has resolved to throw in the proverbial towel due to mounting pressure from all quarters and especially from the PDP Governors’ Forum.
His ordeal is made worse by the fact that the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, has literally taken over his job, bringing an uneasy calm at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the party in Abuja.
The crisis which originated from the Adamawa State chapter of the PDP, has become a war between Tukur and Governor Murtala Nyako, with one faction led by Umar Kugama, loyal to the Governor, while the other faction led by Joel Madaki, endorsed Tukur.
It was this irreconcilable difference that brought the matter to the national scene where the PDP Governors pitch their tent with Nyako, most of them vowing to have nothing to do with Tukur.
President Goodluck Jonathan too is said to be tactically withdrawing his support for Tukur in order to secure the support of the Governors in his bid to run for a second term in 2015.
It is also said that forces loyal to Nyako are making consultations with Aso Rock and other stakeholders with a view to searching for a replacement for Tukur, and this is said to be the reason Tukur might have resolved to quit in order to save his reputation and credibility.
A source in the party said that the PDP chairman will quit office on April 18.
‘‘Tukur is going come 18th of April; he would call it quits for being a failure.
Not even President Goodluck Jonathan would be able to save him and even if he failed to resign he would be disgraced out of office because, as I am talking to you now, consultations are ongoing about who would replace him and, once this is complete, then Tukur would be asked to step aside,” said a top party member from Adamawa.
But the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, has denied the alleged move to unseat Tukur, saying that there was no truth in the rumour that his boss will resign on April 18, especially “when he still enjoys the support of all the party stakeholders including the PDP governors and the BoT.”
Metuh also spoke on the ongoing reconciliation tour of the Anenih team in the PDP-controlled states to appease the Governors, saying, “What Chief Anenih is doing is to complement the Chairman’s efforts and that of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, including that of the PDP Governors’ Forum. It is a tripod approach and the more the merrier.’’
He said the rumour about Anenih usurping Tukur’s functions was being spread by some faceless groups bent on stirring controversy within the PDP. He also denied that the BoT was divided.
Metuh said the NWC and the BOT are united and committed to providing the necessary political direction for the party and urged their members to disregard such rumours and continue to work together as a family in line with the visions of the founding fathers of the party.
The media assistant to Governor Nyako, Ahmed Sajoh, said the governor does not have any personal problem with Tukur. According to him, ‘‘the conflict is about the authentic Chairman of the PDP in Adamawa; as far as we are concerned, our party chairman is Alhaji Umaru Kugama and this is our position.’’
When asked for comment on Metuh’s position that the Sule Lamido panel had resolved the dispute, Sajoh said, ‘‘Governor Lamido has submitted his report to the party and we are waiting for the communication from the National Secretariat. Once we receive the decision of the National Secretariat, we will study it and respond appropriately.”
“But all I can tell you is that Umaru Kugama remains the chairman of the PDP in Adamawa State. And as regards Alhaji Tukur’s resignation, I am not aware of it. Thank you.’’