This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Tukur - My Removal Is Not Part of PDP NEC Agenda

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"I was the person who raised his hand in the north during the presidential campaign and they know that the first target to get to before Jonathan is me. This is why they are doing what they are doing because of my absolute loyalty to President Jonathan. "All these are mere distractions, all they want to do is to destroy me and then get across to Jonathan. This is because they know I will not agree to betray the president. This is why I am the target now."

Also, Tukur allayed fears over the defection of some members of the party to APC, boasting that those who had left the party would soon come back to PDP. According to Tukur, measures are being put in place in the PDP, in conjunction with the president, to enable those who have defected to return to the party in the nick of time.

Tukur, who spoke when a team of Nigerian professionals based in Europe, led by Dr. Edwin Olabamiro visited him, said: "The PDP remains the party with the largest spread and tested strength to win elections any day, any time. I thank you all for this visit, while I urge our members all in Nigeria not to be brow beaten by images of political delusion that confront them everyday from different quarters. "The PDP is at home to contain all forms of harassment by the opposition, either vaunted or intended. If it is a game of numbers in any election, you can always count on the fact that the PDP would have it greater. "The good thing is that if five people moved out of PDP to the other party, even by a dint of propaganda, the party takes in more than 500 at a time, as replacements. This means that the electorate in Nigeria trust the PDP more than many people are aware.

"As the chairman of PDP, let me say that we may not have smooth sailing in the party at the moment, but the party and Mr. President are not relenting in holding consultations with the aggrieved members. At the end of it all, PDP would be the better for it and more prepared for greater exploits. "Our members should therefore savour the period of the yuletide season and not allow any issue to keep them distracted and depressed."

However, despite Tukur's insistence that he would not resign or be removed as the PDP chairman, some stakeholders of the party, including members of its NEC and BoT told newsmen that they have been on the lookout for a credible person from the North-east who would unite the party and curtail APC's encroachment and efforts to lure its members.

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