Presidency insists on parley with govs Monday

New PDP asks Tukur to resign
THE Presidency Sunday said that despite the announcement by seven governors who are loyal to the splinter Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stay away from the reconciliation meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the crisis within the party, its plans are intact to host the peace parley today.
Meanwhile, there may be no end yet to the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led splinter group yesterday insisted that the party’s chairman, Bamanga Tukur, was occupying that position illegally and, therefore, must resign immediately.
The governors had after a meeting on September 15 with President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa to opt for peaceful resolution of all issues, agreed to meet today (October 7) for final resolution.
But the governors, who are loyal to the Abubakar Baraje-led splinter PDP in a statement last week, said the Presidency should postpone the meeting because they would be out of the country on pilgrimage.
Sources said that despite the announcement by the governors and their supporters, the Presidency was not officially informed of the planned postponement.
The source stated that all preparations are on ground to host the meeting at the First Lady’s Wing of the Presidential Villa.
Political Adviser to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, confirmed on telephone Sunday that President Jonathan was ready to receive the governors today or any time at all as it has not received any official communication that the group would not attend.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP splinter group, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said in a statement issued in Abuja, that Tukur was not a registered and card-carrying member of the party and so, has no business being its national chairman.
The statement reads: “Tukur was expelled from the PDP in 2006 with nine others following disciplinary actions taken against them for anti-party activities. Since then, he has not officially returned to the party. All the records at our disposal show that Tukur has not followed due process for his readmission into the party.
“He neither applied for, nor obtained the requisite waiver by the National Executive Committee of the party before offering himself for election into the office of national chairman in 2012. This makes his membership incurably defective and his emergence as PDP’s national chairman null and void and of no effect whatsoever since he is the product of a flawed process.
“Consequently, all the actions he has taken as the chairman of PDP since his purported election in March 2012, including the illegal, contentious convention of August, 2013, are null and void and of no effect.
“Reliable information reaching us from the PDP National Secretariat indicates that Tukur is desperately seeking a way out of his predicament and has set about falsifying party records with regard to revalidating his membership through the back door. We wish to put him on notice that this is criminal and we hope he understands the consequences of his actions.”
The statement added: “In this regard, Tukur’s continued occupation of the office of PDP national chairman is clearly fraudulent, illegal and unconstitutional.
“We hereby urge Tukur to tow the path of honour and throw in the towel. This is the best option open to him. However, since one man cannot hold the party and the entire nation hostage, should he fail to heed our advice, we would have no other option than to appeal to both the Presidency and the PDP leadership to ease him of the party in the most diplomatic way to avoid hurting him so much considering his age, zeal and commitment to serve the party by offering a ministerial post to him. This is a good opportunity for the Presidency to demonstrate if it is serious about restoring peace and unity to the party.
“We hereby formally suggest the immediate recall of Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who erroneously handed over to Tukur as the national chairman of PDP, thinking he was a member of the party. This will enable Baraje to organise a proper, unified convention that will usher in a duly elected National Working Committee of the party as early as possible to enable us face the business of positioning PDP as the ruling party come 2015.”