July 12, 2013

Ekweremadu, Gana locked out of Tukur’s residence

Ekweremadu, Gana locked out of Tukur’s residence

*PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—THE crisis between the Professor Jerry Gana-led Special National Convention Committee and Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came to the open, Wednesday, as Gana and Secretary of the Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, were locked out of Tukur’s residence.

It will be recalled that since the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party, at its last meeting last month, approved the Committee to conduct elections into the posts vacated by some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, who resigned, Tukur and the committee had been at loggerheads.

The problem, Vanguard gathered, first came up when Tukur complained of non-inclusion of members of NWC as sub-committee members, which then led to the inclusion of six of NWC members.

The National Chairman and members of the interim NWC, a source told Vanguard, were not happy with the Gana’s committee on the grounds that the committee was operating as a parallel NWC, whereas the committee was  expected to take directives from the Tukur-led NWC.

Eyewitness account

According to an eyewitness, both Gana and Ekweremadu were at the Wuse 2 residence of Tukur as early as 9.30a.m., Wednesday, to intimate him of the progress so far made by the committee and the new date for the special national convention.

However, the source said, aides of Tukur refused them entry and locked out.

PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur

PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur

The source said that the aides of PDP national chairman had told Gana and Ekweremadu that “Chairman had travelled before their arrival.”

Gana and Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President, were said to have insisted that Tukur was inside his residence since all his security details were around and intact.

Determined to see Tukur, Gana then came out of his car to sit at the Police tent in front of the National Chairman’s house, while Ekweremadu remained inside his official car marked Deputy President of the Senate.

After waiting for over 20 minutes, they dropped a message for Tukur with one of the security details and then left.

According to the source, no sooner had Gana and Ekweremadu left they left the PDP chairman’s house at 10.04a.m., than members of the Interim NWC arrived to commence meeting with Tukur.

The members left after an over 60, while Tukur left his residence for a journey to Yola, Adamawa State, at 12.03p.m. with his entourage.

One of the party members, who met with Tukur before he travelled, was the new Director of Mobilisation and Organisation, Uche Igwe.

‘Why Tukur’s angry’

Explaining why the Tukur was not happy with Gana and his Committee members, the source said: “Gana’s committee has, against the norms, relocated the special convention committee from the offices of the party to a private office in Wuse 2 by the Parakou Crescent.

“The committee had awarded contracts for the convention, yet the date of the convention is not insight. The contractors have awarded and produced the wrappers for the convention without any directive from NWC.

“Even the six members of NWC that are expected to be members of the convention committee are yet to be given or made members of the special committee.

“To make matters worse, Gana’s committee had gone to the Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadomhen, to request for money to conduct the convention, but they were turned down and asked to channel their request for money through the National Chairman.”

According to the source, Bamanga Tukur would want to trash out these issues with President Goodluck Jonathan before audience would be granted to the Gana’s committee.