Tukur: A Stewardship Dogged By Too Many Odds?

The National Working Committee (NWC) led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur just clocked one year in office. However, the national Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has had his one year in office dogged by several controversies. Our correspondent, mohammed ismail in this write up x-rays the journey so far.

The ambition of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to contest the National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP was greeted by politicians in his home state with a pinch of salt because the ambition was perceived by many as the very antithesis of their own political survival and as such some of them apparently opposed it with calculated passion.

Apart from the opposition his candidacy garnered right from inception, many discerning political analysts could not fathom why despite the presence of young, virile, able bodied politicians, donning every part of the North East geo-political zone who have the energy to man the touted Africa’s largest party with its complexities, lack of cohesion and internal bickerings. Bamanga Tukur was settled for despite the glaring burden age has placed on him.

Considering his age, the pundits wondered how prepared was Bamanga Tukur to lead the most troubled political party in Africa and probably the world, a question that has been agitating the minds of keen political observers across the nation.
But it was however, noted that his assumption of the plum party office, has thrown a cog in the ambition of notable politicians from his home state with the major casualty being former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar whose ambition to man the country’s plum office is an open secret.

The election of Bamanga Tukur which was at the behest of the Presidency as many pundits tacitly amplify in unambiguous terms was because of President Goodluck Jonathan’s intention to contest the general elections in 2015. Threefore, he sourced the National Chairman of the party from Adamawa state which is seen as a calculated political expediency to prevent the former Vice President from participating in the contest in line with extant rules of the party.

The unabashed support which the Bamanga Tukur’s candidacy enjoyed from the presidency which ensured his victory willy-nilly was not lost on many discerning analysts across board. That is why the President was slighted when Tukur was defeated at the north-east convention of the party in Bauchi state by the youthful and relatively obscure former national secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo who became the governor’s dark horse in the rat race to Wadata plaza and who miraculously managed to steal the show for the favored candidate of the President at the Bauchi contest.
The President was said to have been rattled when the news of Babayo’s emergence as the North East preferred candidate filtered, making him to spring to action, in order to block the seeming loopholes, that may mar his candidate’s chances by taming the governors to accept the inglorious consensus arrangement which ensures the emergence of Bamanga Tukur as the new man on the block at the Wadata house.

Since then, the governors started preparing to counter the President by frustrating the leadership of Tukur which is being witnessed now.

Political commentators, are of the view that, despite the fact that Bamanga Tukur looks hale and hearty, his choice to run the affairs of the complex party at the advanced age of 78 against the backdrop of young, enterprising and capable hands smells fishy. Many northerners saw the emergence of Bamanga Tukur, as an attempt to rout the interest of the north, in the next political dispensation. Some northerners are ready to swear that the election of Bamanga Tukur is another booby trap archetypal of the one set against the north by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he handpicked the terminally ill Yaradua and rammed him down the throat of the north with the hope that Yaradua will not last his tenure of office. That singular action of Obasanjo, was ascribed as responsible to the travails currently being suffered by the north, which has considerably pulverized the political clout it used to wield hitherto.

A top northern politician, from Adamawa state who preferred anonymity, confided to LEADERSHIP that the emergence of Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, was another plan,? at ensuring that the north is again muzzled come 2015, with the active complicity of Bamanga Tukur. The move said the source, was further aimed at blocking the chances of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from contesting the 2015 election because of Obasanjo’s view of Atiku as the only northerner who has the credibility, courage, political structure and the resources to give President Goodluck Jonathan a run for his money come 2015. The source, also revealed that, the reason that made President Goodluck Jonathan to insist on the choice of Bamanga Tukur as the anointed candidate was because, in Bamanga Tukur, the President has a willing tool whom having satisfied his interest, will go any length at protecting the whims and idiosyncrasies of the President.
From the beginning the source said we know that the choice of Bamanga was an expediency by the president to ensure the emergence of someone from the north who will dance to his whims and caprices unquestioned.

The source queried the where about of? Bamanga Tukur when patriotic northern politicians launched a campaign against the third term ambition of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was not only looking for a third term but a life presidency. The source also sought to know the where-abouts of Tukur, when patriotic northerners, fought for the retention of power by the north, after the death of late President Umar Musa Yaradua, so as to allow the north complete its eight years in power, as stipulated by the gentleman’s agreement, between the northern and southern peoples, an arrangement which even the President was signatory to? Bamanga Tukur, whom by virtue of his position, as a top ranking member of the party, should have ensured that the north got its legitimate mandate, the source added. But instead, he toed the line of President Goodluck Jonathan and even served as the Chairman of Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign team, while patriotic northerners, including top PDP backbones from the north like Mallam Adamu Ciroma, former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Gen. Aliyu Gusau and a host of others stood in defense of northern interest.

The source, further confided? that, while patriotic northerners deemed it fit to invest in northern economy, especially their states, so as to create job opportunities, Bamanga Tukur as one of the richest men in Nigeria, probably the richest man from Adamawa state, did not deem it fit to invest much in the state and in doing so reducing unemployment and its heinious consequences on the body polity.

One issue that refused to die down, was the speculation that Tukur was set to promote the gubernatorial ambition of his eldest child Awwal Tukur an issue that set him on collision course with governor Nyako. The source, equally noted that, the reason behind Bamanga Tukur’s woeful defeat at the Bauchi convention, was largely due to his inability to transform the lives of the people of the region, ascribed as the poorest region in Nigeria, despite the presence of super rich people like him. “His defeat at Bauchi convention, despite his gargantuan societal standing and the backing of the Presidency, has depicted the picture of a man, not at ease with his people. That defeat, has cast a serious blight to his image, political standing and his acceptability in the zone”.

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