Home » North-East, Party Politics, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) » North East Delegates Revolt Against Tukur

North East Delegates Revolt Against Tukur

3010F04.Bamanga-Tukur.jpg - 3010F04.Bamanga-Tukur.jpg

Alhaji Bamangar Tukur

By Chuks Okocha and Segun Awofadeji

Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, believed to be the anointed candidate for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), got a shocker Wednesday at the North-east zonal election that took place in Bauchi State.

Although he was said to have been endorsed by the governors from the zone, the delegates voted instead for the Acting National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Musa Babayo, who is now the zone’s consensus candidate for Saturday’s national convention of the party.

But reacting Wednesday night, Tukur told THISDAY on telephone that the result was not acceptable to him, saying that the process that led to Babayo’s emergence was “highly manipulated” by some of the stakeholders of the party in the zone.

Also, the outgoing Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, said there must be election and voting at the convention to elect the party’s national chairman.

One of the candidates, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, who spoke to THISDAY Wednesday night, dissociated himself and six others from what he described as “Kangaroo action” of two governors from the zone.

Again, a member of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) said the outcome and implication of the zonal election showed that the governors of the party are in charge of the PDP machinery, including the delegates.
Babayo scored 14 votes to beat Tukur (two votes); Adamu Mu’azu (one vote); Prof. Rufai Alkali (one vote); Bunu Ibrahim Sheriff (two votes); and Dr. Shettima Mustapha (two votes).

Senator Girgir Lawan from Borno State also emerged as the new National Vice-Chairman of the party at the zonal congress which was attended by the PDP governors of Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe States.

The results were announced by the Chairman of the zonal elections and member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun.

Lawan, who takes over from Senator Paul Wampana (Adamawa State), had also served two terms of six years as National Vice-Chairman, North-east. He was sworn in along with 15 other national officers from the zone by Oyedokun and assisted by Godwin Bozimo who read a section of the party’s constitution which states that consensus arrangement is part of a democratic process and also acceptable by the party.

Speaking on the exercise, Wampana said the adoption of Babayo by the zone would not prevent other aspirants from the zone from contesting at Saturday’s convention.

Wampana said Babayo’s endorsement was taken at the party’s caucus meeting on Tuesday night in Bauchi since the party zoned the national chairmanship post to the North-east, adding that party stakeholders decided to endorse him as someone who is versatile with party affairs being an insider for long.

The zonal congress, which was held at the Multipurpose Indoors Hall, Bauchi, was carried out amidst tight security and some of the contesters declined to speak to journalists while virtually all the bigwigs of the party left briskly after the short event.
In his comments after the poll, Babayo described his election as the zonal consensus candidate as a “salute to democracy”.

He thanked the delegates and appealed to other national chairmanship aspirants that he defeated to join hands with him to make the PDP a formidable political party.

Babayo also described his victory as a “generational change and victory for internal democracy within the PDP”.

He said he was ready to work with “humility with President Goodluck Jonathan to make the party strong for the upliftment of the economy and polity”, while pledging to lead the PDP to be responsive to the needs of Nigerians.

He also pledged to work with all the major stakeholders of the party including the governors, legislators, both at the national and state levels, stating: “I will work and lead the party with the fear of God for the development of our fatherland, Nigeria.”

He said he was committed to Jonathan’s transformation agenda, which he promised to pursue to the last letter, but added that to “reform Nigeria, you have to reform the PDP first”.

He appealed to other aspirants in the election to join hands with him to move the party forward.

Meanwhile, speaking while inaugurating the 75-man National Convention Committee of the party’s national convention headed by Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Baraje said, “there must be voting  and it must be credible, free, fair  and transparent”, adding that the delegates must queue behind the candidates of their choice.

He also tasked the committee to ensure the protection and security of all the delegates.

The outgoing PDP chairman told members of the convention committee that they were carefully chosen based on their pedigree from the six geo-political zones of the federation, urging them to bear in mind that all eyes were on the party and they should not fail the party at this moment.

Baraje further used the occasion to inform the members of the committee that all NWC members who are contesting election had resigned their membership from committee.

In his response, Maduekwe said: “Your trust would not be misplaced”, and promised to conduct the “most elective convention in the history of the PDP”.

Also speaking, the defeated aspirant, Tukur, blamed his loss on the manipulations and manoeuvrings that took place at the election centre.

He said the outcome of the poll was not acceptable to him, adding that: “As far as I am concerned, I am in the race and this matter will be settled by Saturday’s national convention.

“The office of the national chairman of the PDP will be settled by the national convention. The outcome, the said allocation of votes, is not acceptable to me. This is the outcome of the manipulations of some governors.  How can three governors of Adamawa, Taraba and Bauchi States decide the fate of the whole party?

“This is not the end of this matter, I am still in the race and this matter will be decided by national convention.”

Also speaking, the Director-General of Bamanga Mohammed Tukur Campaign Organisation, Mallam Habu Fari, who echoed the voice of his principal, said: “What happened in Bauchi is not acceptable to us. We are waiting and looking forward towards election on Saturday.”

According to him, “The decision taken was in the absence of Bamanga Tukur, because on the night of Tuesday when the idea of consensus was taken in Bauchi, the idea of consensus was rejected by all the national chairmanship aspirants.”

Despite his defeat at the zonal election, groups have continued to champion the aspiration of Tukur as the national chairman of the party.

Two of such groups, the PDP Legacy Forum and the Signature for Bamanga Tukur, led by Ambassador Kenneth Walter Soriewei and Solomon Chukwu, have continued to campaign for the success of their preferred candidate.
Chukwu of the Signature for Bamanga absolved himself of any allegation linking Tukur to any anti-party activities, while the PDP Legacy Forum said the chairmanship aspirant remained the best to lead the PDP out of the woods.

Lawan said that all six other candidates from the zone would address a joint press conference today in Abuja to manifestly condemn the “charade” that took place in the “purported endorsement of Babayo”.

Lawan stressed that only about a fifth of the stakeholders at the zonal congress engaged in the arrangement that produced Babayo.

The other candidates, who were bitter with the manipulation of the zonal congress included Ibrahim Bunu, Ahmed Muazu, Aba Aji, Idris Waziri, Ibrahim Shehu Zerima and Prof. Alkali. Tukur was said to have sent a proxy to the congress.

Meanwhile, sources close to the coaliton of the South-south delegates Wednesday night said the entire zone and even the South-east zone of the party had endorsed the candidature of Tukur for “his wealth of experience”.

-ThisDay

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Posted by on Mar 22 2012. Filed under North-East, Party Politics, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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