Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih said last night that embattled the national chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur was still in charge of the affairs of the party.
This was after Tukur himself had declared before entering the BoT meeting that he had not resigned his position.
Speaking shortly after the BoT meeting at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa which ended at about 11:45pm, Anenih tried to parry on questions concerning Tukur, but was stubbornly confronted by journalists who were waiting all the while.
The following question and answer session ensued between him and reporters:
What is the position on Tukur resignation?
Tukur attended the meeting as the national chairman.
Did he leave as the national chairman?
I said he attended as the national chairman. We all left together.
Did he leave as the national chairman?
I believe he left as the national chairman.
What are the major decisions taken?
The major decisions taken were for members of BOT, and you are not members.
This is coming as President Goodluck Jonathan met with PDP governors last night in a frantic move to bring back the five PDP governors who defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Clad in a brown guinea brocade caftan with a cap to match, Tukur walked into the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa at about 7:55pm for the Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting after the party's national caucus meeting had ended.
Asked by State House correspondents whether it was true that he had resigned as reported in online media, Tukur vehemently said, "If I resign you, will know. I am not somebody that will resign and you will not know. I have not resigned."
President Jonathan had earlier met with the PDP governors before the caucus meeting started.
Tukur, was, however, absent at the PDP caucus meeting even though he was sighted at the Presidential Villa a few minutes before the commencement of the meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes.
After the meeting with the president, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam told State House correspondents that the governors' meeting with Jonathan bordered on issues concerning the dwindling fortunes of the party, particularly the arduous task on how to win back their colleagues who defected to the APC.
He said the issue of Tukur's resignation did not come up at the governors' meeting with the president.
Suswam said, "First, we met with the president as PDP governors, to discuss issues of the party and the way forward. And that meeting is ongoing.
"The major issue discussed with the president was basically on how to re-strategise and re-position our party and how to move forward as a party. The second meeting is the national caucus and I am not in the position to comment on that after the BoT meeting, the Vice President will brief you on the outcome."
Asked if the issue of the chairman's resignation was discussed, Suswam said the Vice President would comment on that after the BoT meeting, even as he insisted that at the PDP governors" meeting with the president, issue like that was not discussed.
"I think is the responsibility of the national caucus and the BoT; and the Vice President will adequately brief you on the outcome," the governor added.
On concerns raised at the meeting, he said, "The concern is that the fortunes of our party are dwindling and so we need to address that. How do we re-position our party to win the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun. How do we win back our colleagues that have stepped aside? We don't believe that they have left the party, they only stepped aside. These are the issues that were raised."
Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu who chipped in some words while the interview with Suswam was going on, stated that the five governors who left the party would definitely return.
He said the G5 governors were just on the sidelines and as soon as the party was restructured following the ongoing effort, they would return.
The governors who attended the meeting include Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Theodre Orji (Abia), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Garba Umar (Taraba), Ralaman Yero (Kaduna), Idris Wada (Kogi), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Babangida Aliyu (Niger).
At the caucus meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senate President David Mark, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu; Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha; Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba; House Leader Mulikat Adeola-Akande; BoT chairman, Tony Anenih; Ahmadu Ali; PDP NWC members, Chief Emmanuel Inwuanyanwu; Chief Bode George; former Rivers Governor, Peter Odilli; former Akwa Ibom Governor, Obong Victor Attah; Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Sariki Tafida among others.
Those in attendance at the caucus meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo, governors of Delta, Katsina, Benue, Abia, Plateau, Akwa Ibom and Bauchi states.
Others were Senator David Mark, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Chief Tony Anenih, principal officers of National Assembly and NWC members.