By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North & Henry Umoru
A minister in President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet and an influential Peoples Democratic Party governor have come under fire from the Presidency for plotting to remove the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from office.
The minister, who is also close to Mr. President, is reported to have sided with the governor to work against the continued stay of Tukur as the party’s national chairman, despite the tacit support given the embattled chairman by the President.
The governor, whose political plan is said to be unclear to the Presidency, is reported to have invited one of Tukur’s deputies to his state and held a ‘crucial meeting’ with some party loyalists last Wednesday on how to remove Tukur.
A chieftain of the party told Vanguard that members of the state chapter were shocked to see the national officer of the party at the state caucus meeting.
“When we asked our governor what the national officer was coming to do at our caucus meeting, His Excellency told us that the official was just passing by and he decided to bring him to the state so as to give him some hospitality during the New Year.
“It is unfortunate that our state governor has been seen as the arrowhead of the anti-Tukur campaign at a time we should be working together to protect the President,” the party chieftain said.
Although the minister, who occupies a strategic portfolio in the administration did not attend the ‘caucus meeting’ called by the governor last Wednesday, the Presidency is said to be angry with him for not being able to gauge the feelings of the president concerning Tukur.
The minister is said to have argued like the governor that it was not in the President’s interest to retain Tukur even though he knew where his principal’s interest lay.