Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has had a first year marred by controversy and divisions, writes Jaiyeola Andrews
When Alhaji Bamanga Tukur assumed the position of national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party a year ago, he certainly did not expect the kind of intraparty crisis that has rocked the ruling party under his watch. The first one year of his tenure has been marred by crisis of monumental proportion in most state and zonal chapters of the party.
Signs that Tukur was in for a tough time manifested early in his tenure and it manifested in his home state of Adamawa. He feuded with the state governor, Murtala Nyako, over the composition of the state executive committee of PDP.
Tukur’s decision to dissolve the state executive, which was composed mainly of Nyako’s supporters, pitted him against the governor. In a show of solidarity, governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, supported Nyako. The Adamawa crisis pitted the governors against Tukur-led National Working Committee of PDP.
On the surface, the bone of contention was control of the Adamawa State executive committee of PDP. But the quarrel was really about Nyako’s successor in 2015. Sons of the two gladiators, Nyako and Tukur, are believed to be in the contest for the governorship position.
In the battle for Adamawa State PDP, Nyako enjoys the support of other governors and other stakeholders in the state, while Tukur has the backing of the party’s national leadership.
The PDP governors rallied round Nyako and exerted their influence until the Tukur-led NWC members rescinded their dissolution of the Adamawa State PDP executive committee and restored the Minjijiwa Kugama-led executive.
PDP governors were, allegedly, bent on taking the fight to a conclusion, as it was gathered that the governors were collating signatures to ensure that the party convened its National Executive Committee meeting, where crucial issues were billed to be discussed and decisions taken to chart a new course for the party.
But the Presidency and Tukur fought to ensure that the party did not hold its NEC meeting. They were apparently afraid that the governors, who command the greatest loyalty among the NEC members, would pass a vote of no confidence on Tukur.
But Tukur has been accused of mishandling the problems within PDP. According to Hon. Rayyanu Iliyasu, “Since the election of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, there has been one crisis or the other in the party’s national secretariat, a development that is not healthy for its survival. The crises are brewing seriously and if care is not taken, it will engulf the national chairman.
“I am telling you with all sincerity that all is not well in the national secretariat of the party and except serious measures are taken to address these issues, they may boomerang.”
Tukur is believed to have had a difficult relationship with members of the NWC since his assumption of office. He is accused of inability to bring everybody on board. A party source said there were so many issues at the national secretariat that Tukur had failed to address.
It is difficult to say whether Tukur has recorded any achievements in the first year of his tenure. His tenure has been laden with crisis on various fronts. Even the reconciliation effort he led, which took the national body of the party to all the geopolitical zones, has failed to yield appreciable result. Aggrieved members mostly stayed away from such meetings.