Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
Last minute negotiations and horse-trading took centre stage Monday as members of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) prepared for the election of a chairman today in Abuja.
It was however learnt that party chieftains were still brainstorming on how to avoid the election, hoping that they would persuade the chairmanship aspirants to step down so that the position could be determined by consensus.
But should the aspirants stick to their decision that an election for the chairmanship post takes place, the party might opt for Plan B that could lead to the dissolution of the BoT in March, while an interim chairman is appointed to run the board pending its reconstitution.
Apart from the statutory members of the BoT, the tenure of all board members is expected to last for only five years. The present board was set up in July 2007 during the tenure of Dr. Ahmadu Ali as the party’s national chairman.
The selection of the chairman of the PDP BoT is ordinarily expected to be by consensus, but due to factors beyond the control of the 97-member board, it would, for the first time, be electing its chairman instead of deciding on the person by consensus.
On the ballot paper sighted by THISDAY, the names of former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme, who was BoT chairman, was first on the list from the South-east, while former Attorney General of the Federation in the Second Republic, Chief Richard Akinjide and Chief Yekini Adeojo topped the list from the South-west.
Also on the ballot paper for today’s election are a former National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Anthony Anenih and Chief Don Etiebet, among others.
THISDAY gathered that the PDP elders were still working on the BoT chairman emerging by consensus yesterday.
Though President Goodluck Jonathan may not attend the election, he has mandated the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to see to it that a consensus candidate emerges to fill the post of chairman.
However, should a meeting expected to hold late last night fail to produce a consensus candidate, the board members will opt for the election.
So far, several scenarios have been thrown up, with the presidency and some governors said to be supporting the aspiration of a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
According to a source, some stakeholders are also pushing for the dissolution of the board if the consensus arrangement falls through since the tenure of all the members is expected to end by March.
Their argument is that instead of subjecting the chairmanship post to the election, with the risk of the acrimony this could generate, it might be better to dissolve the board and pick an acting chairman who will reconstitute the board, paving the way for the new board members to elect a substantive chairman and secretary.
It was gathered that prior to the resignation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the BoT chairman, plans were afoot for the reconstitution of the board, as its members had exceeded the party’s constitutional tenure of five years.
Under this scenario, THISDAY gathered that the BoT would allow the secretary of the board, Senator Walid Jubrin, to complete the five-year tenure previously occupied by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who resigned about two years ago and paved the way for Jubrin’s emergence.
Going forward, the South-west zone will choose among the following to complete Obasanjo’s tenure, albeit, in acting capacity: Akinjide, Senator C.K. Awoyele, Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, Chief Tunde Osurinde, Yekini Adeojo, Mrs. Patricia Etteh, Chief Bode Olajumoke and Mrs. Aduke Maina.
But it was gathered that Oyedokun, a former deputy national chairman of the party, is favoured to emerge as the interim chairman until the final dissolution of the BoT for fresh nomination of members.
There have been no new nominees to the BoT since 2007, which the source explained, “It would be unfair to elect a new chairman to superintend over new members.”
The PDP Constitution, Article 32(2) states: “All members of the PDP shall serve a term of five years and no more.” However, this rule does not apply to statutory members.
The BoT comprises all serving and former presidents, vice-presidents, national chairmen and national secretaries, all serving and former senate presidents and speakers of the House of Representatives, as well as all founding members as stipulated by the constitution.
Other members include two women selected from each of the six geopolitical zones, three members, one of which must be a woman from the six zones and six persons that have contributed to the growth of the party.
THISDAY learnt that the decision to resort to plan B was arrived at in the event that it becomes impossible to arrive at a consensus candidate.
The fall back option would also be considered if Jubrin, who on Sunday had made it abundantly clear that he would not step down because he was elected for a five-year tenure and not picked to complete Adamu’s tenure, remained unyielding.
Proposed Composition of the National Board of Trustees Membership of the PDP
1 Vacant Chairman
2 Walid Jibrin Secretary
Serving & Past Presidents
3 Jonathan Goodluck Member
4 Olusegun Obasanjo Member
Serving & Past Vice Presidents
5 Muhammed Namadi Sambo Member
6 Atiku Abubakar Member
Serving & Past Presidents of Senate
7 David Mark Member
8 Ken Nnamani Member
9 Adolphus Wabara Member
10 Anyim Pius Anyim Member
Serving & Past Speakers of House of Reps.
11 Aminu Tambuwal Member
12 Patricia Etteh Member
13 Dimeji Bankole Member
14 Ghali Na'Abba Member
15 Salisu Buhari Member
Serving & Past National Chairmen
16 Bamanga Tukur Member
17 Alex Ekwueme Member
18 Solomon Lar Member
19 Barnabas Gemade Member
20 Ahmadu Ali Member
21 Vincent Ogbulafor Member
22 Okwesilieze Nwodo Member
Past & Present Deputy National Chairmen
23 Sam Sam-Jaja Member
24 Yekini Adeojo Member
25 Ibrahim Shema Member
26 Bode George Member
27 Shuaibu Oyedokun Member
28 Muhammed H. Bello Member
Past & Present National Secretaries
29 Olagunsoye Oyinlola Member
30 Abubakar Kawu Baraje Member
31 Ojo Madueke Member
Foundation Members from August 1998
1 Alex Ekwueme Statutory Member
2 Solomon Lar Statutory Member
3 Adamu Ciroma
4 Jerry Gana Statutory Member
5 Barnabas Gemade Statutory Member
6 Tony Anenih
7 Bamanga Tukur Statutory Member
8 Aminu Wali Statutory Member
9 Wilberforce Juta
10 Jim Nwobodo
11 Jibril Aminu
12 Sule Lamido
13 Onyeabo Obi
14 David Jang
15 Shettima Mustapha
16 Bello Kirfi
17 Hassan Adamu
18 Richard Akinjide
19 Philip Asiodu
20 Victor Attah
21 Ibrahim Bunu
22 Don Etiebet
23 David Jemibewon
24 Sha'aba Lafiaji
25 Olubo Isokari
26 Garba Nadama
27 Ango Abdullahi
28 Shuaibu Oyedokun Statutory Member
29 Isaac Shahu
30 Samuel Ogbemudia
31 Dan Suleiman
32 Haliru Bello Muhammed Statutory Member
33 Zamani Lekwot (rtd)
34 Muhammed Magoro
35 A.B. Mamman (rtd)
36 Tonye O. Graham-Douglas
37 Kema Chikwe
38 Julie Nwariaku
39 Esther Audu
40 Stella Effa Attoe
Any Member of the Party that May be Appointed by the BoT
Maximum of 6 in number 6
2 women selected from each of the 6 geo-political zones 12
3 members at least one of who shall be a woman from each of the 6 geo-political zones 18
Composition of Proposed Members of BoT
Statutory Members 31
Foundation Fathers & Mothers /Conveners 30
Recommended Permanent Members 6
Non-statutory Members 30