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Thursday, 19 December 2013

First Lady Threatens PDP Governors over Tukur

Dame-Patience-Jonathan-1710.jpg - Dame-Patience-Jonathan-1710.jpg
 First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan

The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan has continued to meddle in the affairs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as it has emerged that she has been haranguing the party's governors into sparing the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Tukur has been blamed for much of the crises that have bedevilled the party, leading to calls for his removal by the governors.
His removal was also one of the key demands of the seven aggrieved governors of the party, five of whom have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Their departure notwithstanding, the remaining governors of PDP have continued to push for his ouster on the grounds that it would usher peace and reconciliation in the party.
However, in the bid to stop his removal, the first lady, THISDAY learnt, has in recent days been summoning the governors of the party and mounting pressure on them to drop the idea of Tukur's sack.
It was gathered that some of the governors she has met with include Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, with businesswoman, Ms. Bola Shagaya, in attendance.
Sources said that at the meeting, the first lady made it clear that the governors should throw his support behind Tukur, failing which she would use her influence to ensure that he does not get the ticket of the party for a second term.
The sources also disclosed that Mrs. Jonathan extended her campaign to the Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, and his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji.
When she met with them individually, the source said, she informed them that should they insist on Tukur's ouster, she would impede their efforts to determine who their successors will be.
They said: "The first lady is very determined to ensure Tukur remains the chairman of the party, as she is of the view that his sack could make her husband, the president, vulnerable.  She also does not have confidence that if Tukur is removed, there is a guaranty that his successor will protect the interest of the president as the elections draw near.
"Others, however, say that the reason she is interferring is because she is backing other governorship aspirants in many states, and a Tukur chairmanship will guaranty her candidates a free ride.
"But her meddlesomeness in the affairs of the party is causing anger and disquiet among the governors who have vowed to resist any attempt on her part to foist her demands on them."
The governors had at a meeting last Friday in Abuja unanimously agreed that Tukur should be shown the door, but given a soft landing to facilitate his exit from office.
They are proposing, among other sweetners, an ambassadorial posting for him to quit as chairman.
The sources said the governors determination to have Tukur sent packing was made worse following his meeting with senators last week, where he promised them that he will back them against the governors and make them full National Executive Committee (NEC) members.
The governors are expected to meet with the president today after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting to insist on Tukur's ouster.

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