77 year old Bamanga Tukur has been declared the new national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Turkur emerged, the consensus candidate for the party’s chairman, after all the other ten candidates stepped down for him at the 2012 national conention of the ruling party in Abuja.
Though he was a consensus candidate, votes were still casted to affirm his election. He polled 3,185 votes out the 3,448 of the total votes cast to emerge the winner.
The ten candidates withdrew their nominations, just as the election was about to commence, citing “advice by leaders” and “for peace of the party.
Among those who voted at the event were President Goodluck Jonathan, the Vice President, Namadi Sambo and other top party members.
The emergence of Mr Tukur as the sole candidate for the party’s leadership position took a twist earlier in the week when he was defeated at the north-east zonal congress of the party in Bauchi state.
The party had zoned the chairman’s office to the north-east region with the 77-year old having the blessings of President Goodluck Jonathan and some senior members of the party. But he was defeated at the zonal congress ahead of the national convention by the party’s acting National Secretary, Musa Babayo
Mr Tukur, had described his defeat at the North-east zonal congress as a ‘charade’ stating that, he believes the outcome of the event will not affect his aspiration to emerge as the next national chairman of the largest party in the country.
12 positions were up for grabs at the convention; eight of them including the national publicity secretary were affirmed after only one candidate remained unopposed for the posts. The remaining including the post of national chairman which had only one candidate still had to be decided by ballot.
Former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola also emerged the sole candidate for the party’s national secretary, a position held by Professor Ahmed Rufai Alkali, who was amongst the ten that stepped for Mr Tukur.
Reacting to the emergence of Mr Tukur as the consensus candidate, Prof Akali explained that there were “rigorous persuasion and consultations” to get other candidates to stand down. “Some of us made the sacrifice to avoid divisions in the party,” he said. “The party is supreme” he added.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu described the emergence of Mr Tukur as the party’s leader, as a blessing and added impetus for the Party.
“Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s emergence is a blessing for the party, being a respected statesman with a rich reservoir of experience and popular support needed to further strengthen the Party and consolidate the gains made so far”, he stated.
He called on the new party officials which he also described as a First Class team to ride on the popular support and good will enjoyed at the Convention to justify the confidence reposed in them by the party faithful and ensure the speedy realization of Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda.
Below are the new national officers of the People’s Democratic Party:
- National Chairman – Bamanga Tukur
- Deputy National Chairman – Sam Sam Jaja
- National Secretary – Olagunsoye Oyinlola
- National Woman leader – Kema Chikwe
- National Auditor – Bode Mustapha
- National Financial Secreatry – Bolaji Anani
- National organising Secretary – Abubakar Mustapha
- National Youth Leader – Garba Umar
- National Publicity Secretary – Olisah Metu
- National Treasurer – Bala Bawa Kaoje
- Deputy National Treasurer – Claudius Emekise
- National Legal Adviser – Victor Pam
- Deputy National Publicity Secretary – Binta Masi Garba
- Deputy National Auditor – Umar Ibrahim
- Deputy National youth Leader – Dennis Arokpe
- Deputy National secretary – Solomon Onwe
- Deputy National Organizaing Secretary – Okechukwu Nnadozie
- Assistant legal Adviser – Mohammed Magaji
Avoiding contentious acrimony
Ahead of the voting, some governors explained to Channels Television the essence of a consensus candidate where they why they have decided to return some candidates without voting.
According to the governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswan, “what the PDP as a party seeks to promote is the unity of the party,” adding that the agreement on a consensus candidate “is to make sure that we avoid a contentious acrimony or contest. In every human endeavor or political setting, people should thrive “consensus rather than contest” he opined.
Also speaking, the leader of the Northern governors’ forum and governor of Niger state, Alhaji Aliyu Babaginda, stated that “once an individual is agreed upon; there will be no need for contest because our constitution (PDP’s constitution) allows for standing unopposed.
“There is no point fighting or arguing over anything. There is nothing wrong with a consensus candidate especially when it is generally agreed upon” stated the Abia state governor, Mr Theodora Orji
About 5,000 delegates are at the Eagles square, venue of the event to choose new executives for the national convention.