The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, suffered a major political humiliation as the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, which he heads, rescinded a major decision behind him.
Mr. Tukur was absent when 10 members of the NWC met on Tuesday to rescind the party’s earlier decision to dissolve its Adamawa State Executive Council.
At an earlier meeting presided over by Mr. Tukur, the party leadership had dissolved the Adamawa executive and appointed a caretaker committee.
However, in Tuesday’s statement signed by the PDP Deputy National Chairman, Sam Jaja; and the National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; the NWC said it held an emergency meeting under Article 29(3),of its constitution and had 10 of its 12 members present.
The statement stated that the “NWC in its 325th meeting of Wednesday 12th December 2012 had rescinded the dissolution of the PDP Adamawa State Executive.”
It is not clear if the PDP Chairman attended the December 12 NWC meeting mentioned in Tuesday’s statement.
Ongoing congresses illegal
The NWC of the ruling party said “the Ward and Local government executives of Adamawa State were never dissolved.”
It also added that the Committee is “surprised, shocked and embarrassed to read in the Newspapers of the purported ward, local government and state congresses said to be on-going in Adamawa State” adding that the NWC “is dissociating the Party leadership from the purported congresses which were neither authorized by the NWC nor monitored and/or supervised by the National Secretariat.”
The congresses are being conducted by the caretaker committee appointed by Mr. Tukur’s leadership. They are also allegedly have the support of the party chairman.
The NWC said it declared the “purported congresses null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.
“Consequently we hereby declare that the only state executive committee constitutionally recognised by this Party is the Kaugama Executive lawfully elected in March 2012 and endorsed by the National Convention,” the NWC stated Tuesday.
The statement is an indication of the power play currently going on in Nigeria’s ruling party with different factions pitted against one another.
With Tuesday’s resolution, Mr. Tukur seems to be losing out.
The Chairman had been in a running battle with Murtala Nyako, the Adamawa Governor, over control of the party at the state level.
While Mr. Nyako supports the “Kaugama Executive,” the PDP Chairman supports the caretaker committee.
An unpopular chairman
Prior to Mr. Tukur’s emergence as National Chairman of the PDP, there were clear indications that he was an unpopular candidate among state governors, particularly those of the North East.
In March 2012, PDP governors from the North East supported a younger and less popular Musa Babayo, then acting national secretary, to defeat Mr. Tukur in the party’s zonal primaries.
The party chairman was eventually elected after the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Today’s NWC decision is also seen as a major blow to the president whose support Mr. Tukur banks on to cling to his position.