Saturday, 11 January 2014

Obasanjo withdraws from PDP •Writes Tukur, copies Jonathan •PDP govs give conditions for peace

President Olusegun Obasanjo has fired another letter, this time, to
the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji
Bamanga Tukur, in which he gave a notice of his withdrawal from the
activities of the party.
Obasanjo also sent a copy of the letter to President Goodluck Jonathan
as National Leader of the party. A copy of the letter was obtained by
the Saturday Tribune.
The former president, in the letter, said he was withdrawing from all
activities of the party because the PDP had been negating the
principles of morality, decency and discipline in its decisions,
especially as they affect the South West where he comes from.
The letter, dated January 7, 2014, according to a source at the
national secretariat of the party, was received in the office of Tukur
on Wednesday, 8 January, 2014. It is believed that President Jonathan
also got his own copy on Thursday.
Obasanjo accused the party leadership of imposing someone (names
witheld), who he described as a criminal wanted abroad, on the party
as its South West zonal leader and proceeded to add that he was
forwarding with the letter, "recent documents" on the alleged
activities of the person.
Efforts to get copies of the "recent documents" by Saturday Tribune
from both the PDP national secretariat as well as from Obasanjo's side
were, however, not successful but a source at PDP's national
secretariat confirmed that the letter came with attachments. He did
not give further details.
The three paragraph letter reads:
"While I believe that a good and truly national political party must
be a microcosm of the nation in its membership, made up of all sorts
of characters from near-saints to near-satan, I also believe that on
no account should a known habitual criminal that is wanted abroad to
face criminal charges levelled against him be extolled as a political
leader in a respectable and wholesome nation-building political party.
"(...Names witheld) has been so extolled in PDP in South-West
geo-political zone which I personally find unsavoury. Politics played
by any national political party must have morality, decency,
discipline, principles and leadership examples as cardinal practices
of the party. I have attached here recent documents that clearly
indicate that your extolled PDP Zonal Leader in the South-West zone of
Nigeria and an indigene of Ogun State is, to say the least, not a
credit to the party as a member, let alone being a zonal leader.
"Since I stick in my practice of party politics to the hallowed and
cherished principles enunciated above, I take this opportunity to let
you know that while I continue to remain a card-carrying member of
PDP, I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal
being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom
extradition has been requested by the US government. In the meantime,
I will consider withdrawing my activity with PDP at local, state,
zonal and national levels until the anomalous and shameful situation
is corrected."
A meeting of South West leaders of the party, it was gathered, will
hold in Ibadan, Oyo State, today and may also come up with
far-reaching decisions on the future of the party in the zone.

PDP governors give fresh conditions for peace
PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) governors have given fresh conditions
for peace to return to the party and for the chairman, Alhaji Bamanga
Tukur, to remain in office.
Part of the conditions, according to information gathered by the
Saturday Tribune, is for President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on
Tukur to return the structures of the party to them in their
respective states as well as make them the leaders. Only after this
would they agree to resume adequate funding of the party at all levels
as well as its national secretariat.
Part of Tukur's 'sins' is his alleged incessant interference in the
affairs of the state chapters, which is said to have led to the
setting up of caretaker committees for some of the chapters. The
situation did not go down well with the governors, who saw the action
as erosion of their powers as leaders in their respective states.
The new development, sources close to the governors said, followed the
intervention of some respected leaders of the party who reportedly
counseled them on the implications of removing Tukur now that the 2015
general elections are around the corner.
Saturday Tribune, however, learnt that the development had created a
sharp division among the governors, as some of them are still
insisting that the embattled chairman must go as earlier demanded, for
them continue to be relevant in the scheme of things in the party
ahead of the 2015 elections.
The likes of the governors of Jigawa and Niger states, who were
members of the aggrieved G7 Governors before five of them defected to
the All Progressives Congress (APC), and some others are said to have
insisted that for genuine peace to return to the PDP and for the party
to maintain its supremacy come 2015 elections, there must be a
complete change of leadership.
However, one of the aides to Alhaji Tukur revealed that the cause of
friction between Tukur and the governors was his insistence that the
party must be returned to the grassroots, and that the constitution of
the party must be followed to the letter to allow for due process in
election of candidates for party or elective offices, rather than the
old order of imposition of candidates by state governors without due

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