It has emerged that the embattled national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, may be on his way out as governors elected on the party’s platform last night asked the north-east caucus of the party to shop for an immediate replacement.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the meeting of the governors at the Akwa Ibom Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro and the position was to be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan as the governors headed straight for the presidential villa for another round meeting on how to resolve the lingering crisis in the party
The meeting, which was attended by 14 governors, ended about 9:40pm without the usual press briefing. But one of the governors confided in LEADERSHIP that “the game” was “up” for Tukur.
“We cannot shy away from the obvious; we have asked the north-east leadership to search for a replacement for Tukur because we are tired of this,” the governor said.
At the meeting were the governors of Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Katsina, Kaduna, Kogi, Kebbi, Bauchi, Cross River, Plateau, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, and Niger who was represented by his deputy.
In a related development, three G-7 governors and 13 of their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) entered into a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday night.
The G7 governors, who had arrived the First Lady wing of the presidential villa about 9:58pm for the meeting, are Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).
Save for the Niger governor Aliyu and Jigawa governor Lamido who had declared that they were still bonafide members of the PDP, Kwankwaso and Aliyu had joined three other governors of the G7 to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Aliyu and Wamakko arrived in the same vehicle, while Kwankwaso trekked into the entrance of the building holding his trademark red hat in his hand.
Aliyu and the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, and the national security adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, were the very first to arrive early for the meeting.
At about 10pm, 13 other governors of the PDP arrived. They are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Theodore Orji (Abia), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Idris Wada (Kogi), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Sulivan Chime (Enugu), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Ralaman Yero (Kaduna), and Garba Umar (Taraba).
The meeting started about 10:20pm.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that the defection of five of the G-7 governors to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) will not affect the ruling PDP in any way, saying that the governors should not see themselves as kings.
According to Jonathan, the game of politics is dynamic, adding that, “A governor elected by the people must not see himself as a king” who could lord himself over the electorates.
Jonathan stated this late Saturday in Paris during an interview he granted to journalists shortly before leaving Paris for Abuja at the close of a two-day summit on peace and security in Africa hosted by President Francois Hollande of France.
Jonathan spoke whole reacting to the recent defection of five out of the seven aggrieved governors of the PDP to the opposition, APC.
The G7 governors are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).
But Lamido and Aliyu had claimed that they were not part of the announced merger of the group with the APC.
“We want those governors to come back to PDP, but in an event where some of them feel that it is better outside, they can also go and try. If they are living, we will work harder to make sure that we get more supporters so that at the end of the day, that equilibrum will be maintained.
“But I still believe that in Nigeria today, PDP is still the party to beat. As they are leaving the ruling party to the opposition, there are other key political actors who are ready to come to PDP. At the appropriate time, we will also receive them”.