PDP chairman, Tukur to quit tonight — family members, associates

Bamanga tukur
Bamanga Tukur

After nearly two years as PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur is all but certain to quit tonight

After months of speculations, the embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, will most likely stand down from his post Wednesday night, family members and political associates have told PREMIUM TIMES, signalling an end to a turbulent two-year stint that has left the ruling party terribly divided.

Mr. Tukur, haunted for several months by his party’s crises, will cease to be the ruling party’s chairman at a meeting of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, BOT, holding this night.

The meeting will be in continuation of an earlier session held Tuesday by the party’s elders to deliberate on Mr. Tukur’s fate. That meeting was inconclusive.

One family member, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said Mr. Tukur, whose political base has waned after months of political intrigues and speculation about his resignation, will quit because of “much pressure.”

“Baba will likely tender his resignation this night,” the relative said.

The confirmation came after weeks of intense speculation that Mr. Tukur will be leaving his office to stave the crisis that has engulfed his party, the PDP, a conflict many state governors and party leaders have blamed on his continued stay as party chairman.

As the speculation erupted this week, Mr. Tukur remained adamant, speaking on Monday about the procedure for his leaving office, and somehow boastfully making it clear President Goodluck Jonathan, who has remained his main backer, has no power to force him out.

He maintained that position on Tuesday after a meeting, presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

Earlier on Wednesday, as reporters dug through for facts about his continued stay, Mr. Tukur insisted he was still in charge.

His Special Adviser on Media, Olivier Okpala, told PREMIUM TIMES nothing had changed amid increased power play to either save the chairman or boot him out.

“Be informed that the national chairman has not resigned, it is all speculation,” Mr. Okpala told PREMIUM TIMES.

The spokesperson said Mr. Tukur would be at the BOT, meeting of the party on Wednesday night and will also attend the National Executive Committee meeting of the party on Thursday.

But several associates of the party chairman later told PREMIUM TIMES that the Wednesday meeting will be Mr. Tukur’s last as chairman of the party.

His family members also backed that claim. They all requested anonymity as the matter remained politically sensitive. They also made it clear they were not authorised to comment on the matter.

“It is in progress now as speculated,” another relative said, speaking of the resignation. He added that the “The pressure has been too much.”

When PREMIUM TIMES visited Mr. Tukur’s home in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja, associates and aides wore long faces, anticipating his final decision. Supporters called in too, to empathise with him late Wednesday.

Mr. Tukur was elected chairman in March 2012 as the seventh chairman of the ruling party.

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