* As they await NEC meeting
By Henry Umoru
THE quagmire in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is taking another shape as governors elected on the platform of the party have expressed dismay over what they described as betrayal of trust between the governors of the North East and President Goodluck Jonathan prior to the emergence of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the party’s national chairman in March, last year.
The governors, as gathered, had entered into an agreement with Jonathan and Tukur before the March 2012 convention when it was becoming obvious that the coast was not clear for him to emerge.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the North East governors are not happy with the PDP chairman who had promised then that, on assumption of office, he will not do anything that will affect the structures of the governors from the zone.
Following this disagreement, the North East governors wooed their colleagues, especially through the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to insist that a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, must hold to resolve the several crises affecting the party.
Crises in the party have pitched Jonathan, Tukur, and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) against some of its governors.
It was gathered that at a secret meeting held on Tuesday at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge before the National Economic Council which Vice President Namadi Sambo chaired also that day, the governors disclosed point blank that they not happy that Tukur betrayed the understanding with the North East governors.
A governor from the zone, who spoke on the issue in Abuja on the condition of anonymity, said, “There is this understanding between the president and Tukur before he was elected as the national chairman.
” Recall that before Bamanga Tukur was adopted as the consensus candidate for the office of the national chairman, we, the North East governors, had adopted the former acting national secretary, Dr. Musa Babayo, from Bauchi State as the zone’s chairmanship candidate.
“But immediately after the zonal congress, there was another meeting at the State House, where the president said he wanted Tukur to become the national chairman. The meeting was attended by the four governors of Bauchi, Adawama, Taraba and Gombe and we expressed our fears over having Tukur as national chairman.
“One of the fears was that Tukur was already among the elite opposing Governor Muritala Nyako in Adamawa State and there was this fear that his chairmanship will antagonize the PDP state structures. This is basically why state governors don’t want the national chairman to emerge from their states.”
The North East governor noted that it was Taraba State governor, Danbaba Suntai, who anchored the position of the zone’s governors at the meeting with Jonathan, Tukur, Amaechi and other stakeholders of the party.
The governor noted that after Suntai had presented their fears at the meeting, Jonathan spoke, allaying their fears, just as Tukur also spoke in the same vein, pledging that, at his age, he would be a father to all.
He added:“We all know better now. There is a sense of betrayal now among us the PDP governors from the North East. Before Suntai’s accident, there was this fear that some senators from Taraba State were getting ready for a fight over the party executive in the state.
Twice, meeting was called to look into the matter, but Suntai refused to attend because of this sense of betrayal by both the president and the national chairman.
“We are insisting that a NEC meeting be called to resolve all these crises within the party. The opposition parties are working on a merger and, therefore, we, as a political party, will not fold our arms and watch the party crumble due to internal power play. We are expecting the NEC to resolve all these crises”.
The governor, who reiterated the position of the PDP governors on the ten members of the NWC that brought back the sacked Mijijinwa Kugama-led PDP Adamawa State, said,
“As far as we are concerned, we don’t recognize Joel Madaki executive.
“Tukur said that he delegated the deputy national chairman to preside over all issues affecting the PDP in Adamawa State. The same deputy national chairman said that the NWC has reinstated the sacked Adawawa State PDP executive. So, why the committee for harmonization? What are you harmonizing? We are waiting for the NEC meeting to know which of the factions will attend the NEC meeting.”