Barely 24 hours after the resignation of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP national chairman, Information Nigeria has learnt of a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and four governors from the North-east geo-political zone yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja in a bid to pick Tukur’s successor.
This is just as the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PDP will meet on Monday to ratify the nomination of the new party chairman.
While the position of the PDP national chairman is zoned to the North-east where the former national chairman hails from, names of political bigwigs from the zone for the position are already being floated in the media.
The contenders for the position include the likes of the Transport minister, Senator Idris Umar (Gombe), who is said to be the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s preferred choice; immediate past governor of Bauchi, Adamu Muazu and Dr. Babayo Musa (Bauchi).
The governors, who met with the president on Friday, include Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe), acting Governor Garba Umar (Taraba) and Adamawa State deputy governor, Bala James Ngilari.
As fears mount over the governors rejection of the new party boss emerging from their states following the power play that ensued between Tukur and Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State which culminated in the major conflict in the PDP, there are speculations the new PDP national chairman may emerge from Borno and Yobe States, controlled by the All Progressives Congress, APC.
But Governor Yuguda of Bauchi, who refused to admit that they were in the villa over the issue of a new party chairman, also denied speculation that the governors were not ready to accept any chairman that emerged from their states.
Speaking to State House correspondents shortly after the meeting, Yuguda said, “Are we God? It is God that gives power. Supposing he gives somebody from my state, a PDP state, what will I do? I will follow him. Let us not go into that kind of imagination”.
Flanked by Dankwabo, Umar and Ngilari, Yuguda urged Nigerians to be patient till Monday when the new chairman would be announced.
He said, “It is just mere speculation. It’s just speculation. We just came to say hello to the president and wish him a Good Friday. Well, Monday is the day NEC will decide who the chairman will be. So, let’s wait till Monday”.
On qualities they will be looking out for in the new PDP chairman in view of the crisis that characterized Tukur’s tenure, the Bauchi governor said irrespective of who was selected, there would always be crisis, but that it was the ability to keep such crisis under control that mattered.
“Crisis will always be there. If there is no crisis, there won’t be managers anyway. So, somebody must be in charge to manage the situation. And even at the family level, you have a leader to manage problems and crisis. So, we cannot be insulated from crisis. It is a continuous thing. The capacity to manage it is what makes you a good leader”, he stated.
On the high turnover of PDP national chairmen, Yuguda said, “Well, I have been discussing that with my colleague from Gombe and he gave me a very wonderful answer that we are on democracy learning curve. So, that’s the dynamics in democracy. So, we are learning. So, we will cross the line very soon, insha Allah”.
On the defection of members from the PDP due to Tukur’s alleged high-handedness, the governor said now that the former national chairman was out of the way, the door was open if they wanted to return to the party.