The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur has finally stepped down owing to pressure from the PDP stakeholder’s forum and a faction of the party.
The announcement was made by President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday afternoon, at the end of the PDP National Executive Council meeting, held at the party’s secretariat, Wadata House in Abuja.
He said Tukur’s decision was based on mutual agreement, stressing that the former chairman is not guilty of any offence.
A new chairman is to be presented to the National Executive Committee, which is to reconvene on Monday, for approval.
Tukur, had on Wednesday evening dismissed rumour of his resignation as untrue.
“I have not resigned. I am not somebody that would resign and you would not know. I have not resigned,” he said.
Tukur’s administration which lasted less than two years had experienced a lot of turbulence which eventually saw the party spliting into two factions on August 31, 2013 and many aggrieved members decamping to the opposition.
In June last year, members of the PDP stakeholder’s forum wrote two letters to the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, demanding the immediate sack of the chairman citing a major reason that Tukur was not a bonafide member of the party, as he had been expelled by the National Executive Committee, NEC after being indicted for “high level anti-party activities” alongside five others including chief Edwin Ume Ezeoke on May 31, 2001.
The group in the letter which was signed by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said according to the party’s constitution following his expulsion from the party, Tukur was not capable of being elected into the position of chairman.
Article 17(2)(g) of the PDP constitution 2009, now Section 49(4) of the PDP constitution 2012(as amended) provides that “No member of the party shall be qualified for nomination or election into any offices of the party unless he has been a registered member for not less than 2 years and is of good financial standing in the party, except there is a waiver by the appropriate Executive Committee.”
The group argued that Tukur, at the point of his nomination for election as National Chairman in 2012 was never a registered member of not less than 2 years since his expulsion from the party in 2001, which expulsion has not been lifted by the PDP or set aside by a court of law.
It listed other sins committed by the chairman to include: failure to carry out his lawful responsibilities, incompetence, as well as illegality and abuse of office, including the removal of officers of the party without following due process.