As the battle to replace the embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur continues, Dame Patience Jonathan, first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is said to have a preferred candidate for the position.
Tukur was said to have submitted his resignation letter to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, but he denied it while speaking to State House correspondents.
The first lady’s choice of Umar has however been criticised by some leaders of the PDP who are of the view that she was part of the trouble in the PDP.
The source said: “We have been on this struggle for long, even before the G-5 governors made good their threat to dump the PDP; but each time we tried to effect it, we were always hitting the rocks because the president’s wife was convinced that it was only Tukur who could deliver her husband in 2015.
“And, unfortunately, there are some close aides of the president who, in connivance with the chairman, were always drumming it to her ears that those who want Tukur out were indeed after the president; all these are tissues of lies that actually prolonged the ultimate decision.
“But, again, even with his resignation, there is yet another challenge that is now threatening the unity of the PDP, and it is the influence of the president’s wife who again insists on Senator Idris Umar, the transport minister, to be made chairman. She has reached out to almost all those who matter in the party to support Umar but we will not bow to this because it is high time Her Excellency was counselled to be circumspect in the affairs of the PDP.”
However, the final decision on who takes over from Tukur would rest on the National Executive Committee (NEC) which meets today.
Prince Uche Secondus, the deputy national chairman, would take over the leadership of the party in acting capacity, if the option to immediately pick Tukur’s replacement from his zone fails.