By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
LAGOS — The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was last night in distress as he dissociated himself from reports linking him with a plan to stop his removal by the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC.
Tukur’s position, nonetheless, party strategists were proceeding with plans for his removal.
The gang up against Tukur which had increased to include most of the governors, it was learnt, was upon persuasions that the party could collapse within months if Tukur remains in office.
His action came on the heels of indications that President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been a major bulwark for Tukur, may have succumbed to persuasions by the PDP Governors Forum and the party’s Board of Trustees.
A national newspaper, yesterday, published the story of the alleged plans by Tukur to frustrate the move against him using the courts.
In his denial, Tukur said he remained a faithful party man.
The planned removal, it was learnt, could happen as early as January in a NEC meeting that is yet to be summoned.
A member of the NEC, speaking on the development, told Vanguard yesterday: “You should know our position and there is a massive loss of confidence and everybody is tired.”
Reminded of how past actions against the national chairman had allegedly been stopped by President Jonathan, the source said: “Yes, that is why they are moving against him now because very soon there may be no more party for anyone again.”
Denying plans for a court action against the party, Tukur in a statement by his media aide, Prince Oliver Okpala said: “The attention of the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Tukur, has been drawn to a wrong insinuation published in one of the national dailies today (yesterday) that he was filing a legal action to prevent the NEC of the party from removing him as chairman of the party.
“Alhaji Tukur clearly condemns and disassociates himself from such a story as it was a complete falsehood of an idea that is unthinkable and unimaginable.
“He wondered how he could initiate such an action against a body he is part of and an organ of the party that has the highest say as the policy making body in the party.
“How can somebody destroy his own house, the intended legal action only exists in the minds of the writers of the false story.
“I am a member of the PDP NEC and I respect the body and all the members of NEC.”