Amaechi, Others Have Not Defected- Tukur

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,  Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on Wednesday said he was not aware of any member of  the  PDP   defecting  to another party.

Tukur said this while  fielding questions from journalists after  meeting behind closed  doors with  the PDP Senate caucus and  the  Central Working Committee of the party.

Aggrieved members   of the PDP in the Senate  such as Bukola Saraki, Shaaba Lafiaji,  Wilson Ake, Danjuma Goje,  Ali Ndume,  Adamu Abdullahi, Magnus Abe,  Hassan Barata, Jubrin Bindo and Aishat Al-Hassan, did not attend the meeting which lasted about four hours.

But Tukur said the meeting was silent on the reported issue of defection because it (meeting)  was  a family talk aimed at  reviewing  the activities of the party.

He said, “We did not talk about people who want to go or stay (defection) I came here because this is the first time I am coming to meet my family members; they are my members.”

Tukur  explained that  the need for the entrenchment of democracy, discipline and good governance formed the basis of his message to the senators during the meeting.

Asked if it was an earlier visit to the National Assembly by the defunct New PDP  that informed his decision to meet the senators, he   replied , “Of course not, this is PDP and there is no other PDP.”

Also asked whether he discussed  the impact of the defection of  five  PDP governors  to the All Progressives Congress, Tukur said,  “Have they defected? they have not gone yet.”

The five governors are Rotimi Amechi (Rivers); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).

Tukur, had  before  journalists were excused from the meeting,   explained that he was in the Senate to fraternise and exchange ideas with the PDP senators on how they could continue to work together as one family.

Tukur also acknowledged the challenges facing the party but said that they were  surmountable “because PDP is one family working  together towards achieving a common goal.”

The President of the Senate, David Mark,  who  led the PDP  senators to the meeting,also admitted that the party was facing some challenges.

But he said that the party was capable of addressing the issues like a family matter.

Mark  said, “We admit we have some challenges in the party . It is expected in a big party like PDP . It is not unusual. We are equal to the challenges as a party . Hopefully , we shall come out of the crisis stronger.”

He also assured the National Working Committee  of the party  that the PDP senators were united in one accord and working together to ensure that the transformation agenda was carried out to its logical conclusion .

The Senate leader, Senator Victor  Ndoma -Egba, said,  “We discussed issues affecting members of the PDP Senate Caucus and the national chairman listened attentively and responded and gave us words of reassurance.

“They are domestic issues; you don’t expect me to come and discuss domestic issues in public. They are issues that affect   the members  of the party in the Senate.”

Ndoma – Egba also said the issue of defection was not discussed at the meeting.

He said, “The issue of defection never came up and I can say it categorically  that  no senator has indicated  that he is going anywhere. So, the issue never came up.”

On automatic ticket for senators  in  2015, Ndoma-Egba said, “We discussed the provisions of the constitution and emphasised democracy.

“Our party is called Peoples Democratic Party and we reminded ourselves that we must be democratic at all times .We had a useful meeting with our national chairman.”

Copyright PUNCH.

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