Friday, April 18, 2014

PDP Crisis: Baraje-faction demands Tukur’s resignation, wants ministerial position for him

Published:

“It is laughable’ says Tukur-led PDP group.

The Kawu Baraje faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday, demanded the immediate resignation of the National Chairman of the ruling party, Bamanga Tukur, saying he ceased to be its member seven years ago.

It said that Mr. Tukur was expelled from the party since 2006 alongside nine others following disciplinary action taken against them for anti-party conducts and therefore should hand over to Mr. Baraje.

The faction, also called “New PDP,” made the demand in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze, in Abuja.

Mr. Tukur, who was a founding member of the PDP, became its national chairman in March 2012.

Responding swiftly, the Tukur-led PDP described the demand as “laughable,” wondering whether Mr. Baraje, who as acting national chairman, handed over to the PDP chairman, did not raise the issues then.

The splinter group said records at its disposal indicated that since his expulsion, the PDP national chairman had not been re-admitted to the party, thereby making his membership defective.

It added that all the actions he had taken since 2012 were illegal.

The statement said, “The Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party wishes to demand the immediate resignation of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as he is not a registered and card-carrying member of the party and so has no business being its national chairman.

“Alhaji Tukur was expelled from the PDP in 2006 with nine others as a result following disciplinary action taken against them for anti-party activities. Since then, he has not officially returned to the party.

“All the records at our disposal show that Alhaji Tukur has not followed due process for his readmission into the party.

“He neither apply for, nor obtained the requisite waiver by the National Executive Committee of the party before offering himself for election into the office of National Chairman in 2012.

“This makes his membership incurably defective and his emergence as PDP’s National Chairman null and void and of no effect, whatsoever since he is the product of a flawed process.

“Consequently, all the actions he has taken as the Chairman of PDP since his purported election in March 2012, including the convention of August 2013, are null and void, and of no effect.”

The faction added that information available to it revealed that Mr Tukur was desperately seeking a way out of his predicament and had set about falsifying party records with regard to revalidating his membership through the back door.

“We wish to put him on notice that this is criminal and we hope he understands the consequences of his actions. In this regard, Alhaji Tukur’s continued occupation of the Office of PDP National Chairman is clearly fraudulent, illegal and unconstitutional,” it stressed.

While alleging that Mr Tukur was holding the entire party as well as the nation to hostage, the “New PDP” urged the Presidency and the party leadership to ease him out in the most diplomatic way to avoid hurting him considering his age, zeal and commitment to serve it, by offering him a ministerial post.

It said, “We hereby urge Alhaji Tukur to tow the path of honour and throw in the towel. This is the best option open to him.

“However, since one man cannot hold the party and the entire nation hostage, should he fail to heed our advice, we would have no other option than to appeal to both the Presidency and the PDP leadership to ease him of the party in the most diplomatic way to avoid hurting him so much considering his age, zeal and commitment to serve the party by offering a Ministerial post to him.

“This is a good opportunity for the Presidency to demonstrate if it is serious about restoring peace and unity to the party.”

The “New PDP” demanded the immediate recall of Mr. Kawu who it claimed erroneously handed over to Mr. Tukur as national chairman.

“This will enable Alhaji Kawu to organise a proper, unified convention that will usher in a duly elected National Working Committee of the party as early as possible to enable us face the business of positioning PDP as the ruling party come 2015.

“It will also pave the way to restore PDP’s past glory based on the visions of the founding fathers of the party. A word is enough for the wise.”

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Jalo Ibrahim, said the demand of the Baraje faction was not necessary, saying the party’s constitution was very clear about the procedure for resignation.

“The party’s constitution is very clear about resignation. The party’s constitution has an in-built mechanism for resignation,” Mr. Ibrahim told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.

“However, the demand is laughable. It is laughable because at that time, Baraje was at the helms of affairs. Did he not look at the allege discrepancies? If these things are true, why did he allow them? That shows you that they are not true.

“We all are looking at ways to resolve our crisis and not to bring issues which will aggravate the situation.”

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