In a case of the hunter becoming the hunted, President Goodluck Jonathan has succumbed to pressure and backed off from getting rid of the chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who is accused of running the party into the ground.
His removal through resignation next Thursday along with members of the National Working Committee (NWC), was recommended by a committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim.
Sources told SaharaReporters that following heavy pressure brought to bear on him, Mr. Jonathan this evening at the presidential villa decided that Mr. Tukur, along with the PDP Financial Secretary and the Auditor, be spared the humiliation of removal.
This means that all of the other members of the NWC, including National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh, will still have to resign on Thursday, but that leaves all of 48 hours in which Mr. Jonathan, who is trying to ensure his party does not stand in the way of his re-election, may still change his mind once or twice.
Our sources say President Jonathan capitulated to the pressure mounted by Tukur to make the situation appear to be solely a legal issue, with the argument that only those individuals affected by legal tussles in the NWC or who have been legally challenged in their various zones will now be show the front door of Legacy House. It is unclear if Tukur used any other pressure points on the president.
Mr. Jonathan’s inability to make up his mind means that the fissures and divisions within the party may continue to grow, with some of those who feel aggrieved by Tukur’s retention becoming instant brides of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Even then, Mr. Tukur may not be totally out of danger. Zonal meetings are now scheduled to take place on July 13, to be followed by the National Convention two days later at which the party might still remove the troubled National Chairman, with Mr. Jonathan unable to prop him up.
Even now, some PDP members were also today complaining that Alhaji Tukur, following a meeting with Andy Uba, the perennially-controversial former domestic aide to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha and Olisa Metuh, illegally recruited a Director-General for the Peoples of Democratic Institute, a “research” arm of the PDP. Mr. Ubah is also believed to be instrumental to President Jonathan's capitulation on the PDP crisis tonight.
Tukur’s new hire, given the job completely without due process, is Chinwe Nnorom Onuoha, who assumed duty at 4PM Nigerian time.
Our source said although the position was advertised as far back as December 2012, the group bypassed thousands of applications to ensure the employment of Ms. Chinwe.
Some of the spillover of Mr. Jonathan’s flip-flops may occur within his own cabinet, including the Anyim committee, which identified the weakness of Tukur and accused him of running the party aground. With Tukur regaining some control, at least for the moment, his position pitches him against Anyim and members of the committee who, the chairman must now feel, have brought him to the cliff of infamy and disgrace.