July 31, 2013
As the crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rages on, its National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, has said that the five governors at the hub of it are heating up the polity and urged them to desist from actions capable of truncating Nigeria’s democracy.
It was his first reaction to calls by the governors that he be removed from office, to which he objected by saying that the governors did not make their comments with ‘decorum, humility and caution.’
“As Leaders whom the general public look upon as a role model, they are expected to show respect to constituted authority and the elders which includes Alhaji Dr. Bamanga Tukur who have contributed immensely to the peace progress, development and advancement of this country,” his media aide, Prince Oliver Okpala, said in a statement in Abuja today.
The governors: Alhaji Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa States, had visited former leaders Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar to complain about the chaos in the party.
They also visited President Goodluck Jonathan on the same issue.
In all their discussions, they called for the removal of Tukur.
“It is unfortunate that these Governors are demanding Tukur’s removal when Tukur has made immense sacrifices for the peace and progress of the PDP and had extended his peculiar kind of brotherly love to all Party men and women,” the statement said. “The Governors are hereby advised to embrace peace and desist from dramatizing the few problems within our democracy as these can send a wrong signal to Nigerians and the international community.”
Okpala described Tukur as a “true and committed democratic, patriotic Nigerian, a first-class nationalist and an elder statesman of international repute.”
An Abuja-based political analyst who read the statement this evening said he could not understand how Tukur being removed from the position of party chairman amounts to an action “capable of truncating democracy” in Nigeria.
“What does Tukur think he is?” he asked. “In my view, removing him would rank right next to removing Jonathan from his lofty heights if PDP wants to survive as one. But that is to assume that the PDP knows it’s left from its right. If it did, it would not be led by the political equivalent of crash test dummies that they have imposed on the country.”
Full text of the statement:
The recent visit by some Governors from the North to the President has raised furore, although the discussions between the President and the Governors was held behind closed – doors, the Media has been awash with the news of the meeting and the issues discussed.
Media reports have it that the 4 Governors who had earlier visited former President Obansanjo and 2 former Military Heads of State demanded the removal of Alhaji Dr. Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the PDP.
We do not know the veracity of this claim, suffice it to say however that, the Governors have the fundamental right to meet and discuss with each other and whomsoever they like and may also have the fundamental right to freedom of speech and to air their views on any issue of National importance.
However, in so doing one would expect them to make comments with decorum, humility and caution. As Leaders whom the general public look upon as a role model, they are expected to show respect to constituted authority and the elders which includes Alhaji Dr. Bamanga Tukur who have contributed immensely to the peace progress, development and advancement of this country.
Much as the Constitution guarantees certain fundamental freedom, such as freedom of speech and assembly. There are Constitutional limitations to this freedom and the Leaders should show wisdom, caution, prudence and good counsel in their comments on National issues as their unguided utterances and calls can cause unnecessary political tension.
It is also important to emphasize that the PDP, as a political platform upon which the Governors were elected have avenues and internal mechanism for resolution of conflicts and grievances, the Governors are therefore advised as Party -men to avail themselves of these avenues before seeking audience or making public utterances capable of overheating the polity.
More importantly, the PDP has a reconciliation Committee entrusted with the task of conflict resolution in the Party.
The Governors by their action and utterances have shown contempt to this committee by not deeming it necessary or worthy to take their grievances to the reconciliation Committee.
One would have expected the Governors to express their grievances privately to the Party Leadership or the reconciliation Committee instead of going public with their grievances before seeking audience with other Nigerian Leaders.
There is no doubt that the Governors peripatetic vision have contributed in no small measure to overheating the polity.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Dr. Bamanga Tukur has tried all in his power to bring peace, tranquility and love in the PDP. His 3 cardinal policies of Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebuilding are aimed at giving all members of the Party a sense of belonging.
The National Chairman also has an open door policy and accommodation for all shades of opinion within the Party. It is unfortunate that these Governors are demanding Tukur’s removal when Tukur has made immense sacrifices for the peace and progress of the PDP and had extended his peculiar kind of brotherly love to all Party men and women.
The Governors are hereby advised to embrace peace and desist from dramatizing the few problems within our democracy as these can send a wrong signal to Nigerians and the international Community.
The Governors as Party faithfuls and responsible citizens of this Country holding exalted positions should desist from any action that tend to overheat the polity and truncate our nascent democratic structure.
Be it known that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is a true and committed democratic, patriotic Nigerian, a first-class Nationalist and an Elder Statesman of International repute whose cardinal aim is to protect our nascent democracy, protect the indivisibility of our Country and ensure the progress of our great Party the PDP.
Prince Oliver Okpala
Special Assistant on Media to the
National Chairman of PDP