PDP NWC Election: Pro-Jonathan Governors Tussle With Ministers
Notwithstanding their initial success with the retention of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as chairman of the ruling PDP at its 61st National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, loyalists of President Jonathan are sharply divided over the character of the next NWC come July 20.
Abusidiqu.com gathered from an impeccable source that although Jonathan has “successfully prepared grounds for a smooth ride towards picking the PDP ticket in 2015”, ministers with governorship ambition in 2015 and pro-Jonathan governors are poised for a showdown over who occupies what in the emerging NWC of the PDP.
A new NWC of the PDP is expected to emerge on July 20.
While some pro-Jonathan governors believe in a clean departure from the past so as to give the semblance of new beginning in the envisioned NWC, a powerful clique among the ministers has intensified their lobby to return most of the old hands who were compelled to throw in the towel last week.
“I think the issue of Tukur has come and gone; what we are currently facing is the attitude of some persons who believe in themselves as more supportive of President Jonathan than others.
“If INEC faulted how some NWC members emerged in 2012, we are unaware of disqualification of any of those who resigned; in fact, there is opportunity for any them to renew his or her desire to be a member of the NWC in July; so, some of us strongly believe in returning our former NWC members as long as we follow our rules.
“The only thing is that we have a limited role in ensuring our views are implemented because even in the planning committee itself, we have no representative,” a serving minister allegedly nursing governorship ambition confided in our correspondent over the weekend.
The minister said there was nothing wrong in ensuring the return of former NWC members as long as “they are team players”, alleging that the proposal by some ‘influential governors for a new NWC is counterproductive”.
He alleged that structures put in place regarding both the convention and interim NWC might eventually end up being used by “influential governors”.
The compositions of both the interim NWC and the Convention Planning Committee headed by ex-minister Jerry Gana are skewed in favour of President Jonathan.
The convention committee comprises deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu (secretary), Governor Godswill Akpabio (deputy chairman), governors Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Gabriel Suswam(Benue), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), SGF Anyim Pius Anyim, special adviser (political) to the president Ahmed Gulak, and 27 others.
In the interim NWC are former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche (deputy national chairman), Senator Emma Agboti (deputy national secretary),Yusufu Hamisu Abubakar (national organizing secretary), Tony Caeser Okeke (national publicity secretary), Simon D. Jok Esq (national legal adviser), Barr. Tanko Beji (national youth leader) and Barr. Oyibo Nwaneri (national woman leader).
Others are Barr. Yau Kwadon (deputy national legal adviser), Hon. Peter Adefunmilayo (deputy national youth leader ), Nasiru Ibrahim Birchi (deputy national auditor ), Mrs Torkwase Ajoh (deputy national women leader) ,Mohammed Dandari (national treasurer), Onyemaechi Ikechukwu Jideofor (deputy national organizing secretary) as well as Hon. Awalu Gwalabe (deputy national financial secretary).
Those who also made the PDP’s protem NWC included Chief Augustine Lugbenwei (deputy national treasurer) and Calib Yahaya (deputy national publicity secretary). Chief Akin Taiwo, Tope Ademiluyi, Chief Mike Akinfenwa and Hon. Gbenga Oduwaiye are all to act as ex-officio members.
Against expectations, Tukur had retained his job as PDP chairman amidst push from a section of governors elected on PDP’s platform, even as 16 members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) resigned their positions on Wednesday last week.
President Jonathan, who was initially poised for a sweeping change in the NWC, later turned around to save Tukur from being removed as chairman of the PDP while he approved the resignation of 16 other NWC members on the strength of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) report which punctured the manner of their election as NWC members in the 2012 national convention of the PDP.
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