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Exit of Bamanga Tukur and 2015 Election

Bamanga Tukur finally threw in the towel as the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).  It is not clear if he voluntarily resigned or was forced out.  What is clear so far is that he is no longer the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the largest political party in Nigeria.

 

What I do not understand is why his exit took so long if it was bound to happen at some point.  After all, the damage to PDP has already been done.   Five PDP governors, scores of senators and House of Representative members have already left the party purportedly because of the ex-chairman.  Their complaint is that he is overbearing by continually interfering in the affairs of the state party which they are suppose to be in charge of.  The president is the head of the political party at the national level and has the power to replace the national party chairman while state governors are head of the party at the state level with same authority at the state level.  They can nominate and replace state party chairman depending on the party’s constitution.  The party chairman at the national and state level is suppose to be somewhat independent and impartial towards members of the political party especially those vying for the party nomination for various offices.  But that is not quite the case since various governors and presidents to do their political bidding often hijack them.

 

Back to ex-chairman of PDP Bamanga Tukur, his exit took place after the damage was done.  Five governors are now gone and the remaining two may still leave the party in no distant feature.  He should have been let go before these governors defected to All Progressive Congress (APC).  President Jonathan now wants them to come back to PDP since their purported nemesis is gone.  One of the governors who defected to APC, Mr. Nyako, governor of Adamawa state said unequivocally that he is not going back to PDP.  Kano state governor said few months ago that he is not going back to PDP and asked president Jonathan not to refer to him as a PDP member.

 

What has been surprising to a lot of people through all this is what appears to be the naiveté of PDP national officials.  I am not sure if they really believe that the formation of new PDP(npdp), which later merged with APC, was solely because of their grievance against ex-chairman Tukur.  I contend that the formation of the new PDP(npdp) was methodically planned and was scheduled to take place during PDP convention at Eagle square which  happened as planned.

 

The real reason for the emergency of new PDP was primarily because former vice president, Atiku and the disaffected 6 governors from the north concluded that president Jonathan selected and imposed ex-chairman Bamanga Tukur as PDP chairman for the sole purpose of using him to secure the PDP presidential nomination in 2015 primary election by all means contrary to Jonathan’s unwritten assurance to them that he will only be in office for one term.  They initially thought they can defeat Jonathan in a free and fair primary election but selection of Tukur by the president may have made it impossible to defeat him.  They are certain that Tukur will skew and secure the votes for president Jonathan just like former PDP chairman Ahmadu Ali did for former president Obasanjo.  They believe that Jonathan is following the same script and wants to thwart that effort by rendering PDP impotent and weak enough so APC can defeat them in 2015 general election.

 

River State governor, Rotimi Amaechi defection is primary due to the conflict between him, president’s wife who hails from same state and the president.  Their disagreement has gotten so bad that Amaechi concluded that he couldn’t remain in the same party with the president because he has the upper hand in PDP.  So governor Amaechi made a calculated decision to leave PDP and join APC since it is the only other party in the country with national reach.

 

The idea that these governors will go back to PDP appears to be a fantasy.  They are gone and unlikely to come back.  Their exit was well planned and properly executed.  They may change their mind if APC fails to hand over to them the state party machinery and structure as promised.  Handing over the party machinery and structure to them was a precondition for their defection to APC.  It is a known fact that the original APC founders in the states where these governors preside do not want to hand over the party structures to the governors.  Some of the original founders are former governors who has some ego to protect nor cede power to anybody.

 

The most likely thing that will move and compel the governors to change their mind and return to PDP will be if Jonathan decides not to seek second term or if in the next couple of months, they sense that APC cannot win the presidency.  Former vice president and the aggrieved northern governors have always believed and have repeatedly said publicly that the presidency must return to the north in 2015.  So ex PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur was just part of the reason but not the main reason for the governors departure.

 

The outlook for PDP and APC winning the next presidential election is 50-50 at this point.  I think president Jonathan and PDP have the South South and Southeastern states almost locked up if he decides to run again.  The APC has upper hand in the northeastern, northwestern and over half of the north central states.  Western states will be the battleground in 2015.  Right now, the western states appears to be leaning towards PDP even though all but one of their governors are APC.  It will be interesting to watch how this drama will unfold in the next couple of months.  What we know is that some Nigeria politicians are opportunistic, unprincipled and non ideological and will shamelessly somersault from one party to another when it suits their purpose.  Bamanga Tukur became a very serious liability that PDP decided to cut their losses before the party completely melts down by another wave of defections by state Assembly members, Representatives, senators and governors which will immediately cause them the speakership and presidency of the national Assembly and render the president a lame-duck.  The House of Representative speaker and senate president headed by APC can bring all legislation to a halt since these two principal officers decide when and what kind of legislation are presented to the floor for debate.

 

PDP is in crisis at the moment and on the defensive.  Time will tell if they can recover on time before 2015 presidential election. As far as the presidency returning to the north, I have consistently opposed rotation of the presidency and governorship simply because it entrenches mediocrity, impunity, inefficiency and underdevelopment.  The best person from any part of Nigeria should be elected president or governor because entire country will benefit in the long run.  My candidate for president has always been Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, ex-chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission(EFCC) because I believe that he knows what ails Nigeria and has what it takes to set the country on the right part for greatness.  Yes, president Jonathan did imply that he will only serve one term after the death of ex-president Umaru Yar’Adua.  Some northern governors and elders did back his presidential ambition because of that.  May 29, 2015 will be the 6th year of his presidency and he is consititutionally permitted to run for a second term. Whether he is ethically justified to run for re-election is a matter which merits nationwide discussion.



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