The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, continues as the National Chairman of the party Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the four northern governors who visited the yesterday engaged in war of words.
In a statement by Tukur’s media aide, Prince Oliver Okpala, said: “there is no doubt that the governors’ peripatetic vision has contributed in no small measure to overheating the polity”.
Continuing further Tukur said; “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. Much as the constitution guarantees certain fundamental freedoms 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 unguarded 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.
“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 faithful and responsible citizens of this country holding exalted positions should desist from any action that tends 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.”
Meanwhile the governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, responded through his Director of Press, Sajoh Ahmad as he said Tukur does not deserve respect, adding that he lacks capacity and competence to handle PDP.
According to the statement signed by Nyako’s aide he said; “Bamanga Tukur is trying to divert attention from the core issues. It is not the issue of respect for each other, it is not the issue of age or status or international standing. The matter in question is his competence and ability to run the party, his ability to provide fairness and justice to everybody.”
“He cannot come here to sponsor a group of impostors and call them executives who will disenfranchise us, disrespect us, kick us aside and he turns around and tells us about respect and status. In actual fact, if he thinks his status is not respected, Murtala Nyako has had higher attainments nationally than him.”
Speaking further he said; “If he can bring in impostors and impose them on the state PDP and cause them to disrespect Nyako, he should not be talking about respect, but that is not the issue at stake. The issue at stake is his competence, capacity, ability as the National Chairman of the PDP. Is he running the PDP competently enough? Is he providing level playing field? Is he fair and just to everybody concerned? That his media office will continue to remind people that he is running the PDP with peace, concord, and understanding when he knows that in the last four months now, they have had four reconciliation committees?”
“A group that has peace and concord cannot definitely have four reconciliation committees in four months. I don’t think that the two tally. We are not arguing about respect, about age, about status or whatever, we are talking about competence to run the PDP as an inclusive party that accommodates everybody’s interests.”