Bamanga Tukur and Murtala Nyako…their interests in shredding PDP
By Olajide Fashikun
We have decided to go to the roots of where the PDP problems that is almost engulfing the party to its foundation started. Our summary is, the personal interests of two of the biggest partymen in the state, Dr Bamanga Tukur and Governor Murtala Nyako as to who occupies the Government House in 2015.
While Nyako wants to pick who will become the next governor after he leaves, Tukur wants to install his son as the next governor. To get this objective achieved, both men must place their men in the saddle of the party at the state level.
Nyako alienated all strong oppositions in the party in the state to have a firm control of the party. This made him bring a relation of his as the state party chairman not minding the zonal prescriptions of the party’s constitution. This has been the setting since 2007.
Heavyweights in hell: Some of the heavyweights who were forced out of the ’25-storey’ party through the window as a short cut to hell include national Chairman of the party Bamanga Tukur, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Education Minister Professor Jibril Aminu, Ambassador Hassan Adamu, former Minister of State for Health, Aliyu Idi Hong, Senators Grace Bent and Paul Wampana. Other victims presently in the cold are General Haladu Hananiya, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, General Aliyu Kamaa and a former governor of the defunct Gongola State, Wilberforce Juta.
The list also includes former Ambassador to South Africa and governor of Lagos state General Mohammed Buba Marwa. Marwa led some of his folks out of the PDP to challenge Nyako in 2011 gubernatorial elections. While Marwa went to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) someothers went to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Governor post Nyako’s tenure: When Nyako got intelligence report on Tukur’s scheming to make Auwal, his first son the governor after him, he decided to checkmate the plot. First, a team was raised to dust any incriminating information on Auwal. While that is going on, the political banana was planned. The national secretariat of the PDP, in what is said by the Nyako flank to be a deliberate plot, faulted the state executive committee (SEC) of the party, having suspended the zonal national chairman, dissolved the SEC and ordered for a fresh Congress to put in place another SEC.
In March 2012, a controversial congress was conducted which was rejected by stakeholders. A political rival to Nyako, Mallam Umar Ardo, had in a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yola, alleged that the process was skewed against other interests within the party. The stakeholders called for the dissolution of the committee.
According to him, the process was manipulated to return 99% of ward executives made up of the governor’s loyalists. The state chairman of the party, Mijinyawa Kugama, is a kinsman of Nyako from the same local government and ward area!
Amb. Hassan Adamu, Gov. Murtala Nyako and Dr. Bamanga Tukur when the going was good
National headquarters in full gear:On 17th October, 2012, the state committee of the PDP was dissolved. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said its National Working Committee exercised “Article 31, Section 2(e) and 29, 2 (b) of the 2012 amended constitution of our Party,” for the dissolution after “repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State Chapter.”
One of the articles says: “Where necessary, dissolve a State Executive Committee and appoint a caretaker committee to run the party until another Executive Committee is elected, provided that the period from the dissolution to the election of the new Executive shall not to exceed three months.”
Some of the breaches committed by the dissolved Kugama-led committee are the submission of a list for local government elections to Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC) without the NWC’s consent and disrespect for zoning formula in the state, as well as the alienation of stakeholders.
Metuh listed the sins as follows: “The dissolved Exco was expressly advised by the National Working Committee (NWC) to halt further steps towards the conduct of Local Government Elections as agreed at a meeting of 9th October, 2012 between the NWC and the Adamawa State Working Committee.
“However, the EXCO did not only go ahead with the process, it submitted a list of candidates to the State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without the approval of the NWC.”
“The action of the EXCO was contrary to the provisions of section 50(1) of the Constitution of the Party which among others states emphatically that the National Executive Committee which the NWC acts on behalf of in this respect, is the final authority for the formulation of guidelines and regulations for the nomination of Candidates for election into public offices at all levels and conveying same to INEC or any other authority to whom it may concern.
“The NWC also referred to complaints and petitions from principal stakeholders of the Party in Adamawa State on various unconstitutional acts of the dissolved State EXCO, especially the principle of zoning as enshrined in Article 7(3) (e) of the party constitution as well as several letters from INEC complaining of non compliance with relevant laws in the conduct of the Adamawa State Congresses.
“All entreaties to get the Adamawa State Working Committee to rescind and, or reverse these constitutional breaches proved abortive, hence its decision.”
The NWC raised a nine-member caretaker committee, headed by Yobe State-born Umar Damagun to manage the PDP affairs in Adamawa.
A defiant Nyako went ahead to conduct local government elections against the directive from his party’s national secretariat.
Although, he later apologised for his indiscretion, the deed had been done. The alleged disrespect of the NWC led to the summoning of Nyako to Abuja and the suspension of the Northeast PDP National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Lawan Girigiri and the dissolution of the Kugama-led committee.
In a 5th December, 2012 letter to INEC headquarters, signed by Tukur and the sacked National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the party notified the commission of fresh party congresses in Adamawa State.
The letter reads: “In keeping with the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010, we write to inform INEC that the NWC of our great party has approved the conduct of the following party congresses in Adamawa State , sequel to the upcoming party congresses in the state. (Ward Congresses-December 27, 2012; LGA Congresses-January 3, 2013; and State Congress-January 8, 2013). Accordingly, INEC is hereby notified of these Congresses.”
Based on the letter to INEC, a new State Executive Committee, headed by Chief Joel Madaki, was elected by a faction of the PDP made up of aggrieved but influential stakeholders.
How NWC, PDP governors were recruited to the crisis:
When Nyako appeared before the NWC of the party, he effectively “turned the table” against Tukur. We recall that before the fact-finding session, Metuh had said, in the defence of the principles of law: “Tukur would not preside over the meeting but the Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja would. This is to make sure that nobody would accuse the party of any bias.”
Nyako told reporters in Yola: “Of course, the election stands. The result of the election is not determined by the party. It is determined by the State Independent Electoral Commission. Whatever we had to do was done in the best interest of the party.”
According to a source at the NWC meeting: “The governor opened up and most NWC members were convinced that the issues in Adamawa PDP were skewed to Tukur trying to make his son governor after his own eight year two-term tenure. Nyako’s appearance before the NWC marked the beginning of the palace coup. This is given also that at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the PDP, Tukur had carried on as a one-man riot squad. He is a dictator of sorts.
Tukur’s divided house: To lend credence to the issues raised by Nyako, a quick review was done in-house which showed the truth and insinuations. Tukur had sacked two of his personal aides, his Chief of Staff Habu Fari and Special Assistant Ahmed Shaibu Gara-Gombe.
A day after Fari was sacked, he resumed in President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 Campaign secretariat while fiery sports analyst, Gara-Gombe was replaced with his son, Auwal.
Nyako had also reached out to the governors. He had recruited them to understand what is happening to him will be made to catch up with them. The governors quickly reached to their ownpeople in the hierarchy of the party.
“The governors also raised a lot of issues, such that members felt reconciliation was needed.”
Out of fear, the NWC was influenced to write INEC for fresh congresses in Adamawa State on the 5th December 2012.
To win the hearts of the NWC members, PDP governors and other stakeholders (including political godfathers) took up Nyako’s battle.
National headquarters in reverse gear: There was much tremendous pressure on NWC members from their benefactors. They had to go and cancel their initial resolution to dissolve Adamawa State Executive Committee. By now, it was Tukur 0-1 Nyako. Nyako secured an away win!
The PDP Governors to show they have taken a stand in the matter led a delegation to the party’s National Secretariat on the 10th December, 2012.
The governors interpretation was that the dissolution of the state executive committee in Adamawa is a survey and test case to severe party structure from them in all the states under PDP control ahead of the 2015 general elections. By now, it is Tukur 0-2 Nyako. Nyako secures a second goal in the match.
Not realizing where the governors are thinking from, all attempts by the PDP governors to have the sacked Adamawa state committee reinstated was rebuffed by Tukur.
The governors, led by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, had audience with the NWC.
Then, they moved to the national leader of the party, Goodluck Jonathan, where they took their stand and resolved to take the matter to the National Executive Committee (NEC) whose majority members were appointees of the governor. Tukur was to be sacked there. Now, it is a hattrick. Nyako scored the third goal! Scoreline reads Tukur 0-3 Nyako. Can Tukur come back like the Damaan Miracle and score three, equalize and look forward to winning the game?