Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman Bamanga Tukur seems to be fighting the battle of his political life. He is from Adamawa State alright, but his intervention in the PDP affairs in the state is gradually turning into a political albatross around his neck. Last October, the Tukur-led national headquarters of the party sacked the Adamawa State executive council of the party and appointed a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party. Governor Murtala Nyako had been running helter skelter to get the decision upturned knowing what it portended for him.
As PDP Chairman Tukur was still basking in the euphoria of his victory in the struggle for the control of the party’s structure in the state, for that is what it is, the National Working Committee pulled the rug from under his feet. Ten out of 12 members of the NWC met without Tukur and rescinded the decision dissolving the Adamawa State executives of the party they had all initially backed. They also declared the recent congresses held by the party in the state null and void. Expectedly, the party’s governors thumbed up the NWC for the decision.
Tukur calls the palace coup led by his deputy, Dr. Sam Jaja, a betrayal of trust. But it’s obvious the NWC members did not act alone. The party’s governors who were instrumental to the election of the NWC members had threatened that the officers too would lose their positions if the sacking of Alhaji Umaru Kugama - led Adamawa PDP executives stood.
The move against Governor Nyako-backed Kugama executives was seen by the governors as not just a move against Nyako, but a move against all of them. This seems so, as the larger plan is to whittle down the powers of the governors within the party. The Adamawa PDP problem had engendered the establishment of the Sule Lamido Committee in a bid to resolve the matter. But Tukur gave himself away by ordering the conduct of the ward and local government congresses in the state while the Lamido committee was still meeting over the crisis and had in fact recommended that status quo be maintained. The conduct of those congresses was also in breach of an injunction from the court putting a hold on the election. The ward congress was held on December 27, 2012 and LG congress on January 4. They were said to be successful.
Indeed, the Adamawa conundrum had all the trappings of drama and high wire intrigues. President Jonathan who has now set up a committee to find a way of resolving the problem gave the impression he was in support of the Lamido committee, but at the same time he tacitly supported the new congresses in the state. And because it was a move against Governor Nyako, the congresses also got support from former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Petroleum Resources Minister Jubril Aminu who are all exasperated by the control wielded over the party by Nyako in the state and sought an end to it.
Truth is the Adamawa crisis is about 2015, about who succeeds Governor Nyako. Both Tukur and Nyako want their sons to mount the exalted office in 2005 and to do so, they need to beat each other in the supremacy battle and grab the party structure.
As it were, Nyako who was the underdog a few weeks ago, has now taken the upper hand with the support from his colleague governors. If you ask me what would happen in Adamawa in the light of President Jonathan’s renewed intervention and Thursday’s vote of confidence in Tukur by the governors and NWC members, I would say not much. I think the congresses will stand cancelled as directed by the governors speaking through the NWC members. The Kugama-led executives may not be reinstated but I think Nyako will now be factored in in birthing new executives for the party in the state. The governors were actually gunning for the PDP chairman. Has President Jonathan saved Chairman Tukur’s neck? We wait and see.