by ‘Jola Sotubo
The fate of Bamanga Tukur, embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now hanging in the balance as President Goodluck Jonathan and some PDP governors are set to have a meeting to decide the best course of action.
The already precarious position of Tukur was worsened after a meeting held on Thursday at Aso Rock between the president and members of the PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC) during which the members of the NWC demanded that Alhaji Tukur be removed as chairman.
Today’s meeting, also slated to hold in Aso Rock, is said to be a crucial one as it will decide whether Tukur will leave, as several parties have been canvassing for, or stay as the party’s chairman.
The Tribune reports:
Tonight’s meeting will finally decide what fate to befall the embattled chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as well as give direction of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and other such meetings scheduled to hold from tomorrow.
However, a few hours to the crucial meetings to save the party from self-immolation, the leadership of the party is now embroiled in another round of controversy as they trade accusations over bribery allegation to influence the outcome of the yet-to-be held meeting of its NEC.
At the centre of the controversies is the attempt by some leaders of the party to remove Tukur from office and replace him with a new leader allegedly being shortlisted.
As of the time of filing this report, the talks about the alleged plot and counter-plot had gone viral within the PDP and in the political circles in Abuja.
On Saturday, both pro and anti-Tukur camps were said to have held several meetings to plan strategies for the next meeting with the president scheduled to hold this evening.
Last Thursday meeting, which was reported in the media on Saturday, had reportedly ended nearly in a shouting match over alleged bribery and unexpected uprising against the party chairman.
But while a PDP chieftain favourably disposed to Tukur told Sunday Tribune that the chairman would survive today’s meeting, others said the meeting would finally determine how to peacefully ease Tukur out of office, especially with expected attendance by governors of the party.
As the controversies spread, the party itself had issued a statement denying that it was sponsored and paid to rise against its chairman, even as it conceded that a meeting, indeed, took place on Thursday with President Jonathan where issues were discussed with frankness.
The party’s spokesman, Chief Olisah Metuh, said: “We wish to state unequivocally that the NWC is not divided and members were not in any way influenced by any person whatsoever in presenting their positions at the meeting with the president.
On determining the fate of Tukur, he added that the “chairman has fought a good battle, but the situation is getting out of hand.
“The NWC is badly split now, with key members against the chairman. The governors are also opposed to him. I don’t know how the president will handle it.”