Friday 11 January 2013
Jonathan Fails To Resolve PDP Crisis; Governors Insist On NEC, Ousting Bamanga Tukur
Efforts by President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the lingering crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crashed resoundingly today at a meeting he held with the party’s governors, who continue to insist on convening the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) through which they hope to boot the National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, from office.
Tukur was this week weakened by 10 of the 12 members of the National Working Committee (NWC), who dissociated themselves from his activities in the party in his home State, Adamawa.
As the crisis grew today, Olisa Metuh, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, issued a statement in which he said the party had commended its Board of Trustees for the “prompt resolution” of the conflict in the NWC, bragging that the PDP is the only political party in the country where differences in the leadership of its various organs could be resolved within a record time.
“In a political party as large as the PDP, divergent opinions on issues are normal but in the ability of its leaders to resolve and find a common ground on such issues, dwells the strength and dynamism of such an organization. In this instance, it is only in the PDP that misunderstandings are not just resolved but done in matter of hours. The National Working Committee of the PDP therefore wishes to commend the Board of Trustees of the Party for proving its role as the conscience of the Party."
Mr. Metuh had apparently not consulted with the governors, who are livid that Tukur unilaterally and illegally dissolved the Adamawa State executive committee of the party on account of his differences with the state governor, Murtala Nyako.
At the Presidential Villa meeting, Jonathan reportedly appealed to the governors to forgive Tukur and thereby save him and the party from public disgrace.
The effort was largely futile because the governors are of the opinion that Tukur is carrying out Jonathan’s secret agenda aiming at pulling the rug of the party from the feet of any governor that is viewed as not cooperating with Tukur and the President’s secret political plans for 2015.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Godswil Akpabio, did not deny the chaos, but he played it down, saying it was “normal” in a political party.
Mr. Metuh did not stray far from that point. “In a political party as large as the PDP, divergent opinions on issues are normal but in the ability of its leaders to resolve and find a common ground on such issues, dwells the strength and dynamism of such an organization.
Working hard to keep the genie in the bottle, he stated that the divided NWC had assured all members of the PDP of the “unwavering unity of purpose” in their ranks.
“We are united under the able and dynamic leadership of our National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur,” he said. “We are ever determined to ensure that the Party fulfills its electoral promises to the people by securing an undiluted compliance of all our members in various positions of authority to a credible performance target."
It was unclear what he meant by that, given that many Nigerians, including Olusegun Obasanjo, who is credited with imposing Mr. Jonathan on the country, are criticizing his weakness and incompetence.