Tukur’s topsy-turvy tenure

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The nearly two year stewardship of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was characterised with major upheavals in the party that climaxed with the division of the party on August 31, 2013 a day that the party bureaucrats had set out 37 cakes to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the party. On that day, seven of the PDP governors and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar walked out of the party’s national convention to form a parallel structure that ultimately fused with the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC last November.

By CHARLES KUMOLU

PDP-crisesMarch 21, 2012: Alhaji  Bamanga Tukur, President Goodluck Jonathan’s anointed and preferred candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chairmanship seat suffered a major political setback , when he was defeated at the North East Zonal Congress of the PDP  in Bauchi State.
March, 24 2012: Despite being rejected at home, Tukur, whose candidacy for the chairmanship of his party, was  backed by President Goodluck Jonathan,  emerged the new chairman of the ruling party after 10 rivals dramatically stepped down on the convention ground.

October, 2012: The National Working committee, NWC,  dissolved the Adamawa State PDP executive committee led by Alhaji Umaru  Kugama and replaced it with the Amb. Umar Damagun- led nine-member caretaker committee to oversee affairs of the party. This was the beginning of the crisis in the party.

January 8 , 2013: TEN  members of the  National Working Committee,NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, disowned the actions of  the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s concerning the running of the party in  his home state, Adamawa.

February 24: The PDP  formed its own governors forum in Abuja with Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio emerging  chairman. The development was believed to have been informed by the need to reduce the influence of the Nigeria Governors Forum,NGF, headed by River State governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

May 23: Rivers State  governor, Rotimi Amaechi, re-elected chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum ,NGF, defeating a late entrant, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, by 19 votes to 16.

May 23: Some PDP governors later converged at  Akwa-Ibom Lodge,  Akpabio, and declared the election of Amaechi as a sham and  circulated a statement endorsing Jang.

June 2012: Tukur survived the hammer as the National Executive Committee meeting named a 20 man team to fill the vacancies in its National Working Committee, NWC.  INEC report  had  faulted the process adopted during the party’s national convention that led to the emergence of certain members of the NWC.

May 27  2012: The National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  suspended Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State. In a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the NWC  and signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said the decision was taken in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the Party to enforce discipline at all levels within the Party.

June 5  2012: The PDP  slammed the hammer of suspension on  Sokoto State, Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako.
The decision to suspend Wammako was made at the 388th National Working Committee (NWC) meeting , in which the state of the party as well as the Sokoto State governor’s repeated breaches and disregard to the party’s constitution was discussed, that it decided that he proceed on suspension.

August 31: Exactly 15 years after its formal launch, the lingering crisis in the PDP, imploded in the face of party stakeholders at the special national convention when former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors broke away, formed  a faction and named  new national officers for it.

September 1: President Goodluck Jonathan held the first reconciliation meeting with the aggrieved governors, which was to be followed by several other meetings in search of peace.

September 2: New PDP opened party secretariat in Abuja.

September 4: Tukur threatens to declare seats of defectors vacant
September 7:  Police sealed off the New PDP secretariat.
September 10: New PDP lost legal battle to get secretariat re-opened.

September 12: The Rivers State chapter of the New PDP opened its secretariat and it was sealed off by the police shortly after it hoisted its flag. Another police detachment same day prevented Governor Rotimi Amaechi from accessing the Government House, citing “order from above”.

September 15: Jonathan, G-7 Governors held a decisive meeting to determine the future of the factionalised ruling party
September 15: In a move seen to be an affront on the Kano State governor, the PDP dissolved the executive committee of the state chapter of the party and constituted a caretaker committee to run its affairs.
October 10: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rejected Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s request to be recognised as PDP chairman.

October 12: Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory sealed off the Adamawa State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, which was serving as the temporary secretariat of the New PDP.
October 18: The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, affirmed Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as PDP chairman. Restrained New PDP from operating a parallel structure.
October 29: The move to woo the G-7 Governors started in Sokoto when the APC leaders visited Governor Aliyu Wamakko.

October 31: Leaders of the APC visited Kano and Jigawa States to woo Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso and Sule Lamido.
November 1: The APC train stopped by in Adamawa State to lobby the Governor, Murtala Nyako, to cross over to the party.
November 3: A meeting of the G7 governors in the Kano State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja was disrupted by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Asokoro Division, Nnanna Amah, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP). He claimed to be acting on orders from above.

November 4: G7 governors visit former President Obasanjo to brief him on the developments. Meanwhile, because of the visit to Obasanjo,  APC leaders suspend planned visit to Rivers State which was earlier scheduled for the same date.

New PDP Faction:  From Left, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kawankwazo,  Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido  and Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamako at Press conference announcing new PDP  Factional Leadership in Abuja.   Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

New PDP Faction: From Left, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kawankwazo, Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamako at Press conference announcing new PDP Factional Leadership in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

November 5: APC and its team were in Rivers to woo Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
November 6: APC leaders moved to Niger State to invite Governor Babangida Aliyu. Same day, the Court of Appeal quashed the sack of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as PDP National Secretary.

November 7: In continuation of their consultation, the APC leaders were in Kwara State to meet with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
November 11: National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP suspend National Chairman of New PDP Abubakar Kawu Baraje, its National Secretary Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Dr Sam Sam Jaja, and  Ambassador  Ibrahim Kazaure for anti-party activities.

November 12: Olagunsoye Oyinlola  initiated moves to regain his position when he wrote the national leadership of the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), informing them of the judgement of the Court of Appeal that invalidated his sack from office.  Also, the leadership of the PDP also wrote INEC, informing it of the suspension of Oyinlola and three others.
November 19: Olagunsoye Oyinlola approached the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, to challenge his suspension from the party.

November 26: Five PDP governors, Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers, Rabiu Kwankwanso, Kano; Murtala Nyako, Adamawa; Aliyu Wamakko, Sokoto and Abdulfathah Ahmed, Kwara. The New PDP finally merges with the APC.
December 4: Obasanjo  advised the aggrieved governors, who visited him  to beg and reconcile with President  Jonathan. The governors also proceeded to Lagos, where they had private audience with former Head of defunct Interim National Government, chief Ernest Shonekan and Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma, rtd.

December 11: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo launched a frontal  attack on  President  Jonathan, accusing him of sundry misdeeds, including the PDP crisis.
December 22: President Jonathan replied Obasanjo’s letter, saying that the former President  deceitfully manipulated  facts and figures to impugn his credibility, vowing that he would not for any reason mortgage a bright future for the country. He also accused the former President of instigating the PDP crisis.

December 24: President Jonathan submitted himself to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, for probe over criminal allegations against him by Obasanjo.
January 10, 2014: Obasanjo wrote another letter, few weeks after his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan caused an uproar in the polity.
In the one-page letter dated 7 January, 2014 to the chairman of the ruling  PDP, Obasanjo said he would, temporarily, cease to be a member of the party by withdrawing from its activities at the local, state and federal levels.

January 10: Tukur   pleaded with former President Obasanjo not to leave the party.
January 13:  Tukur, and President  Jonathan  met again for the second time in three days over attempt to force him to resign before  the PDP  National Executive Council meeting. But the embattled national chairman vowed to stay in office, insisting that only the national convention can remove him from office.
January 14:  The campaign for the removal of  Tukur, intensified, as the 36 state chairmen of the party and their counterpart in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, rose from a meeting in Abuja and passed a vote of no confidence on him. They also demanded Tukur’s resignation.

January 14: Embattled Tukur  agreed to resign. This was after a lot of pressure from embittered members of the party caucus, especially state governors, over the role Tukur played in the crisis plaguing the party.
January 15: After spending nearly, two years which was characterised by crisis and confusion, Tukur  resigned as the PDP chairman.

With the resignation, Tukur has escaped being suspended from the party by the members of the NWC if he had refused to resign.
Tukur was to be suspended by about eight members of the NWC, while the National Executive Committee of the party would ratify his suspension.

 

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