• As Baraje’s group sticks to guns on PDP chair’s sack
The governors, made up of Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), had rejected goings-on in the PDP, especially the way the party’s special national convention was conducted and therefore, announced a PDP faction.
Daily Sun gathered that following the governors’ request that the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, should relinquish his position, among other demands, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, chairman of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) during the Abacha administration, has been tipped to become the acting chairman of the party.
Sources revealed that the aggrieved governors, who enjoy the secret support of three former heads of state, would nominate Lawan in the meeting with party elders and if this gets the blessing of all, the former party chairman would oversee the affairs of the PDP, pending when another national convention would be organised for the selection of a substantive national chairman.
Daily Sun gathered that Gambo, from Borno State, who bidded for the PDP chair during the exercise that brought Tukur to office, is not privy to the plan for him to emerge as acting national chairman of the party, but those pushing for his nomination said he’s capable of restoring confidence in the party.
Sources however, revealed that for Gambo to be appointed acting national chairman, Tukur would be asked to resign his position, just as Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo did in 2011 when he was embroiled in court case in his home state, Enugu.
It was gathered that Tukur’s resignation would be hinged on the court case instituted by the Abdullahi Kawu Baraje faction of the PDP, which demanded that he should be compelled to stop parading himself as national chairman of the party.
Daily Sun learnt that if the court grants the prayer of the Baraje faction, as it resumes sitting on September 9 and grants an injunction restraining Tukur from parading himself as chairman, he would be compelled by PDP elders to resign, the same way Nwodo was asked to go when an Enugu High Court made an order against him.
Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja had filed a suit at the Lagos High Court, on behalf of their faction of the PDP, asking that Tukur, Prince Uche Secondus, Mrs. Kemo Chikwe, Chief Olisa Metuh and others should stop parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee of the PDP.
The judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari, had, while ordering that the status quo should remain in the party, adjourned the case to September 9.
Meanwhile, PDP stakeholders in Niger State have thrown their weight behind the decision of seven governors and some leaders of the PDP to have a faction in the party.
They also praised Governor Aliyu for joining other governors and party members to announce a faction of the PDP.
The stakeholders, who met in Minna yesterday, were made up of all members of the House of Representatives from the state, members of the state House of Assembly, commissioners and members of the state working committee of the PDP.
Moving a motion to back the decision of the seven governors, a former member of the House of Assembly, Alhaji Yakubu Esheti, said: “I move that we are solidly behind the chief servant, in view of the prevailing situation we are facing.”
The motion was seconded by the political head of the party in Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state and Commissioner for Water Resources, Hajia Hadiza Abdullahi, after which the stakeholders adopted it.
At the meeting Governor Aliyu and the state PDP chairman, Alhaji Abdulrahaman Enagi, took turns to explain to the stakeholders what led to the Saturday incident.
Governor Aliyu said the rival PDP members had not pulled out of the party, as negotiations are on to resolve the impasse.
Aliyu said: “Negotiations are on. We should rise against intimidation of people; we are still in PDP. What happened is part of politics and negotiations; if the person you are negotiating with says no you should allow time to heal any wound.”
He praised the delegates of the state for remaining steadfast with the leadership, while promising that as events unfold the stakeholders would be briefed accordingly.
“We have met with the President. Our elders have intervened. We will call you and tell us what line we have to take in future,” he stated.
Chairman of the party in the state, Alhaji Enagi, in his remarks, told the stakeholders: “We are still in PDP. We are negotiating with the leadership.”
Speaking to newsmen after the stakeholders meeting, Governor Aliyu said the group of seven governors had superior argument to the position taken by the mainstream PDP and therefore should be listed to.
He blamed some appointees President Jonathan for escalating the crisis through their utterances, stating: “It is not impossible to remove the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as some presidency officials would want the public to believe.”
The governor said that a meeting among the governors and PDP elders, earlier scheduled for yesterday could not hold because of the intervention of some elders of the party in the dispute.
He named some of the elders, who intervened in the crisis as former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Solomon Lar, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-Vice President Alex Ekwueme.