National Chairman, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said he will not bribe anyone to remain in office.
He stated on Wednesday in Abuja that there was no way he would bribe any member of the party’s National Executive Committee, which would meet next week, in order to stop the agitation for his removal.
A group, PDP Stakeholders Forum, had claimed in a text message to our correspondent that Tukur was desperate to remain in office and was already planning to bribe some NEC members.
Besides, it alleged that Tukur was also planning to force some members of NEC and state chairmen of the PDP to pass a vote of confidence in him during the committee meeting.
The Special Assistant to Tukur on Media, Mr. Oliver Okpala, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said his boss should not be linked with such “falsehood.”
Okpala said, “That allegation is a pure fallacy. It is a fabricated falsehood and engineered by enemies of progress and anti-democratic elements.
“The PDP is a family of like-minds, united under one big umbrella where issues are discussed and resolved amicably as members of one political family.
“Tukur is a decent man whose name should not be associated with such political pranks or gimmicks. He won’t bribe anyone in order to remain in office when in the real sense of it, his office is not threatened.”
He said that members of the NEC “are above board and should not be linked or associated with such.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, also told our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, that the PDP had yet to take a decision onwhether or not to include the face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the agenda for its NEC meeting.
“I cannot react to it until members of the NWC have their pre-NEC meeting,” Metuh added.
Meanwhile, a member of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, has said many members of the PDP in the South-West are not happy with Obasanjo.
Oyedokun told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday that the members believed that the tactics being used by Obasanjo in handling PDP issues were not favourable to them.
“We know in the South-West that a majority of our members do not agree with his (Obasanjo’s) style to issues,” he said, citing as an example, a meeting of members of the PDP which was called by the former President in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The BoT member added that a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting conveyed the impression that the views expressed were those of the leaders of the PDP in the South-West.
He said most of the people invited to the meeting were not officials of the party but were handpicked by the former President.
Oyedokun said, “Recently, he summoned our people to Abeokuta where after the meeting, they said that the South-West leaders (of the PDP) were there whereas those in attendance were his ex-military men like Olatunji Olurin, Raji Rasaki and Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
“There was no member of the BoT, NEC and National Caucus at the meeting. There was no member of the National Assembly or any national officer of the party in attendance, yet they claimed that it was attended by the leaders of the party in the South-West.
“Majority of the people in the zone do not agree with his style , his approach to issues are condemnable. I had warned him not to play God.”
Oyedokun also flayed Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan, saying he had so many ways of expressing himself to the President .
“There are enough platforms for him to use to express himself. He has tremendous avenues to express himself and his approach should have been corrective,” Oyedokun added.
He said it would have been better for the former President to have claimed credit for the correction later than ridiculing the party before the public.
He however said the next meeting of the BoT might be used to caution individual members of the PDP to watch their utterances on issues relating to the running of the ruling party and the Federal Government.
The board, according to Oyedokun, remains the conscience of the party, saying it will continue to ensure highest standards of morality in all PDP activities.
He said, “The BoT is a legitimate body of the party and by its mandate, it ought to be the conscience of the party. We would do everything to ensure that the party is on line in its activities.
“Such issues would be discussed at the meeting and it could be an avenue to caution some individuals on their utterances on the party and the government.
“The BoT has the authority to call any member of the party to order.”
Obasanjo, who resigned as the chairman of the board last April, has not been attending its meetings.
He has also not attended the meetings of the party’s National Executive Committee of which he is a member.