If all goes as planned at today’s meeting, President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to create a soft landing for the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, septuagenarian Bamanga Tukur, pursuant to working out a tidy strategy for his removal from office, Sunday Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.
The meeting, which is expected to hold inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, this night, would involve governors on the platform of the party, its elders and Jonathan.
Indeed, as at the time of going to press yesterday, the 23 PDP state governors were said to be “united” on the imminent exit of Tukur whose tenure has been made very controversial, first, by the crisis in the Adamawa State Chapter of the party, spiraling into an all out angst by some governors against his person, style of leadership and tenure.
Sunday Vanguard has been made to understand that this seemingly conciliatory move by the President is part of steps being taken to ensure that the PDP “tolerates all shades of interests while not allowing for any impression that would seem to support the use of blackmail by those who insist on forcing Tukur out of office before the expiration of his tenure”, according to a source very close to Aso Rock.
The highly dependable source, however, insisted that whatever discussions are held today and no matter the conclusions and agreements reached, all would be without prejudice “to the constitutionally guaranteed right of our President to seek re-election for a second term of office.” The source went on: “That is something that is non-negotiable. The President has every right to seek re-election and the fact that he wants peace in the party should not be taken as a sign of weakness. He is acting like a statesman and that is why we have come to this agreement.
“Mind you, the timeline for that exit by Tukur is something that we all have to agree on and it is not something that would be forced down anybody’s throat. This is a democracy and bullying would not work”.
But the high wire politics that is presently going on in the PDP appears to be throwing up some conflicting pieces of information.
All Progressive Congress, APC, as the main opposition political party – the party is made up of the Action Congress of Nigeria, CAN; the rump of the All Peoples Party, APP; a segment of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; and some scattered political parties – is believed to be angling to benefit from whatever misfortune befalls the PDP, especially the continued threat of the seven governors and their backers to continue operating their New Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP.
This is because the camp of the aggrieved governors, not minding their open conditions about the “need for internal democracy in PDP are actually baying for blood and insisting that the only thing that would resolve the crisis within the party ‘would be a repudiation of a re-election bid by Jonathan’”.
In fact, insiders and close associates of the aggrieved state governors and leaders of nPDP, Sunday Vanguard was told, have resolved that they would continue along their line of opposition except Jonathan dumps his aspiration to seek re-election.
“Even if Tukur is allowed to remain as Chairman of PDP, the only thing that is expected of the President is a repudiation of his ambition”, an insider said.
No matter, it was gathered that part of the strategy of those in the camp of Jonathan may “actually be setting up the aggrieved governors and, therefore, exposing the raison-d’etre for their agitations and their real intentions.”