Alhaji Bamanga Tukur,
By Chuks Okocha
Yet another internal crisis appears to be looming in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the appointment of special advisers to the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, with elected officials of the party describing the advisers as usurpers of their offices.
THISDAY gathered that some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, who are scheduled to meet today, are not happy with the appointment of new aides for Tukur soon after his former principal secretary, Habu Fari, was relieved of his duties after falling out with the National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
The NWC of the PDP comprises national elected officials of the party and is expected to meet every Wednesday. Also scheduled for discussion is the mode of appointment of the special aides to the national chairman.
Some of the letters of appointments for Tukur’s aides were signed by Oyinlola, while some of the more recent appointments were signed by his new Principal Secretary, Senator Ibrahim Ida.
For instance, the new Special Adviser Media in the person of Ishola Filani and Senior Special Assistant, Media, Sheriff Ujudu Mohammed, have raised eyebrows as both positions could clash with the role of the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh.
Members of the NWC (of the party) are also not happy that the appointment of Tukur’s aides was published in the newspapers as advertisements.
In addition to the retinue of aides Tukur is surrounding himself with, THISDAY gathered that the members of the NWC are concerned that the weekly NWC meetings are not held regularly.
According to a source, “We are supposed to have held over 14 NWC meetings, but only four meetings have taken place since we were elected into office on March 24.”
A party source informed THISDAY that President Goodluck Jonathan was not happy with the management of the party by the current NWC and had directed the Special Adviser to the President, Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, to present a comprehensive report on the activities of the party.
It was gathered that the presidency has also ordered the party to hold a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Accordingly, today’s meeting of NWC is expected to convene the next NEC meeting to hold latest by Thursday, July 19 while the National Caucus meeting will take place between Sunday and Wednesday preceding the NEC meeting.
A source said that the presidency was not happy that the party is yet to commence plans for the replacement of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who resigned as the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party three months ago.
The president has also questioned the rationale for the three retreats held by the NWC since assumption of office. Two of the retreats took place in South Africa and the other took place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Another issue that has displeased the presidency is the deviation from the payment of allowances to members of the NWC to the payment of salaries.
The last NWC meeting had approved that the members should receive salaries as against the previous practice of payment of sitting allowances to members.