Bamanga Tukur, embattled PDP Chairman
Mr. Tukur pleaded with aggrieved members of the party to allow reconciliation to succeed.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, on Tuesday, pleaded with members of the Kawu Baraje faction of the party to return, saying he was not the problem with the party.
He also canvassed support for the National Conference, for which a 13-member Advisory Committee was inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday.
The Baraje-faction, also called the “New PDP”, emerged on August 31 and consistently demanded Mr. Tukur’s sack as the national chairman.
Only on Sunday, the faction, which has the governors of Jigawa, Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Adamawa, Niger and Kwara states as well as several members of the National Assembly, in its fold, asked President Goodluck Jonathan to offer Mr. Tukur a ministerial position.
But, in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, Mr. Tukur, said he was not the cause of the crisis in the ruling PDP, insisting that his desire was to reform the party.
“Yes, we seem to be at crossroads in PDP and that is normal in democracy. However, what is not normal is if we resolved to permanently stand apart with little regards to our memorable starting line, past efforts in building the party as well as our common aspirations in raising PDP to be the most formidable among all,” he said.
“Let me reiterate that I am not the cause of the crises in our party as the National Chairman. From the moment I came in as the Chairman, my desire and focus has been on reconciliation and party reformation. Some entrenched interests opposed that. They, therefore, left us with an impression that PDP does not need a reform. Why must we keep on operating without reforms? For me, such kind of attitude is not encouraging.
“As I speak, the Democratic Party in the United States with assurances from President Bill Clinton has promised to assist the growth of our party and they are serious about it. That is instructive, coming from the world’s most respected political party. But we need reforms to carry us through, and the reforms we must implement.”
He appealed to the members of the party to work together so that they could enter the proposed national conference as a team.
President Goodluck Jonathan had, in his Independence Day broadcast to the nation, promised to convoke a national dialogue and inaugurated a 13-member panel chaired by Femi Okurounmu on Monday to produce a blue print and procedures for convocation of the conference.
“For this, I will not shy away from begging our party members to come together so we can enter the National Confab like a team and set examples for the rest of Nigeria. In doing that, we would have demonstrated that we remain the most serious party, not only in Nigeria but in Africa,” Mr. Tukur said.
Mr. Tukur said the PDP was excited by the government’s desire to bring all ethnic nationalities in the country to a roundtable to discuss the progress and future of their country.
According to him, Mr. Jonathan deserved commendation for bringing the issue of national confab to the front burner, having responded positively to the timeless yearnings of Nigerians for it. He added that the idea of a national dialogue was in accordance with the agenda – Dialogue, Defence and Diplomacy – being pursued by the ruling party.
The PDP national chairman explained that the Triple ‘D’ Agenda was part of the 12-point Agenda by PDP which “I had vowed to pursue with vigour to revive our party and in the long run put our country on the path of sustainable growth and development.”
He assured that the PDP would mobilise Nigerians, including the opposition groups for the success of the conference, which according to him, would offer them a life time opportunity to re-lay the foundation of the country to make it emerge as the true giant of Africa.
Mr. Tukur expressed surprise over the criticisms against the proposed conference from some quarters, saying those doing so were hypocrites. He alleged that many of those critics had severally advocated the conference and even mounted pressure on the president to convoke it.
The national chairman appealed to members of PDP to align with the president on the confab’s agenda even as he pleaded with the aggrieved members of the party to return “for us to forge a common endeavour towards rebuilding our party and our country in particular.”
Source: Premium Times