Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Bamanga Tukur clung to his job last night amid a wide speculation that he had threw in the towel.
Tukur was said to have resigned after his final bastion of support – the state chairmen of the party – passed a vote of no confidence in him and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) shunned the NWC meeting he called at the national secretariat on Monday.
Tukur whom sources say does not enjoy the support of the governors elected on the platform of the party, reportedly submitted his letter of resignation at the Presidential Villa at about 5.30pm, but our correspondent could not independently confirm this.
He was however believed to have resigned to stave off his sack at today’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
Curiously, however, Tukur insisted yesterday that he had not resigned.
He spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when he arrived for the Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting held after the PDP Caucus meeting.
“If I resign, you will know. I am not somebody that will resign and you will not know. I have not resigned,” Tukur told journalists before heading for the conference room in the Banquet Hall where the national caucus of the party held its meeting, presided over by President Jonathan.
Tukur was also said to have resigned following the failure of the various intervention teams to prevail on major stakeholders in the party to keep him on board.
The intervention team, led by Gen. Anthony Hananiya, was said to have met the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio and the factional chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Plateau State Governor Jona Jang.
It was gathered that while Gen. Hananiya and other peace groups were busy lobbying the governors, the chairmen of the 37 PDP state chapters met at a hotel in Abuja where they passed a vote of no confidence in Tukur.
There has been pressure on Tukur to resign in the past few weeks. The NWC members openly accused Tukur of being responsible for the hydra-headed problems bedevilling the party.
The frosty relations between the party chairman and the NWC members came to a climax on Monday when eight of the 12-member committee shunned an emergency meeting he called.
Sources at the party secretariat told our correspondent that Tukur’s aides were seen yesterday removing their personal effects from their offices, even as his Special Assistant on Media, Prince Oliver Okpala, denied the resignation report.
In a terse statement yesterday, Okpala said: “Be informed that the National Chairman has not resigned, it is all speculation. “The National Chairman will be at the Board of Trustee (BoT) meeting tonight (yesterday) and will also attend the NEC of the party tomorrow (today)”.
Tukur stayed away from the party’s NWC meeting yesterday, a development which some sources attributed to his probable exit from the party.
The meeting was presided over by the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
Sources told our correspondent that the consensus on Tukur’s exit was reached on Tuesday night at a meeting of the National Caucus. It was gathered that when Tukur became incoherent at the session, the President took coordinated contributions.
All stakeholders at the session, including governors, National Assembly members, BoT members and some NEC members, agreed that Tukur should go.
Most state chairmen of the PDP have also passed a vote of no confidence in Tukur, a dilemma which left Jonathan bewildered that there was a “bad case” at hand.
A source, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “At the National Caucus meeting, it was decided that Tukur should resign and assured all members that he would meet with the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and take the letter to President Goodluck Jonathan by 3pm on Wednesday.