President Goodluck Jonathan turned down his Peoples Democratic Party’s offer to head the party’s Board of Trustees, before a former minister was appointed on Monday, a senior party leader has said.
The outgoing president was rumoured to be preparing the grounds to take over as chairman of the troubled party’s BoT, following a precedent set by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
That speculation gained fillip after the party’s BoT chairman, Tony Anenih, who resigned last week, said he was stepping down to pave way for the president to assume the post as he leaves office.
But on Monday, the party’s BoT named Haliru Mohammed Bello, a former defence minister and acting chairman of the party, as its new acting chairman after a late night meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting which ended at about 11:15pm, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said Mr. Bello was nominated to act for the next few months.
“Haliru Mohammed Bello was selected as the Acting Chairman of the BOT during the BOT meeting to serve for the next few months,” he said.
On his part, BOT Secretary, Walid Jibril, said President Jonathan had rejected the offer of becoming the party’s BOT Chairman.
According to him, Mr. Bello is to act for about two to three months when election will be conducted to choose a substantive chairman.
Mr. Bello accepted the position and promised to work hard to bring the party back to its feet.
Among those who attended the meeting are the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Tony Anenih, Acting National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus.
Others include a former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana, PDP Women National Leader, Kema Chikwe, former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, Chief of Staff to the President, Jones Arogbofa, Senator Hope Uzodinma, BOT Secretary, Walid Jibril, former Minister of Women Affairs, Josephine Anenih.