Tukur runs to Jonathan, first lady to save his job as bribery allegations rock party

by ‘Jola Sotubo

Bamanga Tukur
Bamanga Tukur

According to reports, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, has taken his mission to save his job to Aso Rock.

The embattled chairman is said to be seeking the support of President Goodluck Jonathan and First Lady, Dame Patience to ensure that he retains his position despite increased calls for his removal.

One of the major causes of the division of the ruling PDP into two by the creation of the now defunct “New PDP” was the belief that Alhaji Tukur was unfit to be Chairman of the party and the governor members of the faction, called the G-7, were unflinching in their demand for his removal.

The Nation reports:

Tukur is also banking on key members of the party’s Board of Trustees and some governors to triumph over the National Working Committee (NWC) members who want him out at all cost.

His fate is expected to be determined at this week’s meeting of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja.

But after gauging the mood of all but one of the NWC members at a session with President Jonathan in Abuja on Thursday night, Tukur and his aides quickly launched a counter plot against those bent on his sack.

Participants at the Thursday session shocked the president when they openly demanded Tukur’s exit, insisting that his retention as national chairman would spell doom for the PDP in next year’s elections.

Bewildered by the development, President Jonathan postponed further deliberation at the meeting and made his exit.

The Nation gathered that Tukur has been trying to convince President Jonathan that the plot to get rid of him by the NWC members is being sponsored by some governors who are bent on hijacking the party with a view to frustrating the second term bid of the president.

He is said to have pinpointed a South-South governor as the arrowhead of the plot.

Tukur’s supporters claim that some of the NWC members were bribed in the tune of N30million to N40million each to lead the campaign for his removal.

The NWC is rooting for the appointment of an acting National Chairman by the NEC on Thursday.

The Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, is being proposed for the position pending the election of a new National Chairman in March by the National Convention of the party.

Investigation by The Nation revealed that Tukur has vowed not to step down as demanded by the NWC members.

Sources said he has been with First Lady Patience Jonathan, some members of the Board of Trustees, and PDP governors on the call for his exit.

A top source said: “Tukur is also pulling the strings in all relevant organs of the party to stay put in office. He believes those pushing for his removal are against the reforms being carried out in the PDP.

Another source said Tukur met with the president and the first lady during which he put them into confidence on the crisis in the party.

The source said: “Tukur is banking on the president, the first lady and some governors for survival.

“As we speak, he has been reaching out to NEC members to correct the wrong impression about him by NWC members. He is trying to secure the support of at least two- thirds of NEC members who are about 94.

“He has a 50-50 per cent chance because the NEC is the highest decision-making organ of the party. Once the NEC passes a vote of no confidence in him on Thursday, he has to step aside.”

A source in Abuja also said that the president may have been persuaded to let Tukur be.

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