Anwal Tukur, one of the sons of Bamanga Tukur, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, wants to be the next governor of Adamawa State – and his ambition is tearing the PDP apart.
Last Wednesday, Bamanga Tukur arm-twisted the party’s National Working Committee to sack the party’s executive committee in his home state of Adamawa. A source in the Adamawa chapter of the PDP told SaharaReporters that the dissolution of the executive body was designed to clear the way for Anwal to coast to the party’s governorship ticket.
Olisa Metuh, the PDP’s national publicity secretary, announced the firing of the state executive at the conclusion of a meeting of the National Working Committee at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
The disbanded executive was headed by Minjiyawa Kugama, a close ally of Governor Murtala Nyako.
Mr. Metuh’s statement stated that the NWC “hereby dissolves the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the PDP.” He added that the action was “in exercise of Article 31, section 2(e) and 29, 2 (b) of the 2012 amended constitution of our party and consequent on repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State chapter.”
Article 31(2) (e) specifically empowers the NWC to, “where necessary, dissolve a state executive committee and appoint a caretaker committee to run the party until another executive committee is elected, provided that the period from the dissolution to the election of the new executive shall not to exceed 3 months.”
Mr. Metuh stated that the dissolved state committee had “flagrantly disregarded and shown serial disobedience to the decisions of the NWC.” He added that the NWC had advised the disbanded executive “to halt further steps towards the conduct of local government elections as agreed at a meeting of 9th October, 2012 between the NWC and the Adamawa State Working Committee. However, the EXCO did not only go ahead with the process, it submitted a list of candidates to the State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without the approval of the NWC.”
The PDP’s spokesman the state executive committee’s action violated the party’s constitution which empowers the National Executive Committee as “the final authority for the formulation of guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels and conveying same to INEC or any other authority to whom it may concern.”
The NWC also claimed that it had received “complaints and petitions from principal stakeholders of the party in Adamawa State on various unconstitutional acts of the dissolved State EXCO, especially the principle of zoning as enshrined in Article 7(3) (e) of the party constitution as well as several letters from INEC complaining of non-compliance with relevant laws in the conduct of the Adamawa State Congresses.”
Said Mr. Metuh: “The NWC finally noted that all entreaties to get the Adamawa State Working Committee to rescind and/ or reverse these constitutional breaches proved abortive.” He implored members of the party in Adamawa State “to remain calm and await further directives.”
Mr. Metuh then announced the constitution of a caretaker committee to manage the party’s affairs in the interim. The members are Umar Damagun (chairman), Eli Gamaliel, Dahiru Shehu, Sabo Mohammed, Grace Mamba, Altine Inuwa, Samuel Zadok, Adamu Wazirin Paka, and Emmanuel Tsamdu (secretary). The committee was immediately sworn in by the party.
But a member of the disbanded executive told SaharaReporters that the party’s moves were questionable and illegal. “How was the party able to arrange these men and women from Adamawa State, if the decision had not been taken before the NWC meeting?”
Other disaffected members of the party accused Mr. Bamanga Tukur of seeking to smuggle his son into the state’s Government House. “Dr. Bamanga Tukur wants his son to succeed Governor Nyako, but he knows he and his son are unpopular,” said one of our sources, a party leader close to the current governor.
Governor Nyako had worked against Mr. Tukur’s chairmanship ambition, but President Goodluck Jonathan went ahead to impose Mr. Tukur as the chair. One of the politicians in the state stated that Mr. Nyako, a retired naval admiral, was ready to take on Mr. Tukur and his son. The source accused the PDP’s national chairman of planning to plant his stooges as chairmen of the various local governments in the state.