ABUJA — THE National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday, pleaded with the five governors from the north elected on the platform of the party, saying that there was no way he could have condemned them for visiting President Goodluck Jonathan on trouble-shooting mission.
Tukur’s conciliatory’s position on the governors came a few hours after Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, registered All Progressives Congress as a political party.
Tukur in a statement, yesterday by his aide, Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, said he was in total support of the governors’ visits to President Goodluck Jonathan, former presidents, ex-heads of state and other Nigerians, who can contribute to reconciling aggrieved members of the party.
The governors are Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State; Babangida Aliyu, Niger; Murtala Nyako, Adamawa; Sule Lamido, Jigawa and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto.
The PDP National Chairman’s endorsement of the governors’ actions and activities was also coming barely 24 hours after Tukur, Tuesday, tongue lashed the governors, warning them to show decorum, humility and respect.
It will be recalled that Tukur had said in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Oliver Okpala, Tuesday, that as governors and leaders, they must desist from any action that could truncate the nation’s democracy.
He had also urged them to respect his age as an elder and bluntly told the governors that they must embrace peace and stop dramatising the country’s few problems against the backdrop that it could send wrong signal to Nigerians and the international community.
According to Okpala’s statement, Bamanga Tukur warned them against what he termed unguided utterances, adding that their calls were causing unnecessary political tension and overheating the polity, stressing that as leaders, they were expected to show respect to him as an elder.
Disowning the statement by Tukur’s Media Assistant, PDP’s Acting National Secretary, Dr. Charles Akitoye, said that the thoughts of Okpala do not in any way represent the actions of Bamanga Tukur.
Akitoye said: “In addition to the earlier statement by Ahmed Gara, on behalf of the National Chairman, denouncing the release by Mr. Oliver Okpala, the Media Assistant to our respected National Chairman, the National Secretariat of PDP hereby reaffirm that the press release do not represent the thoughts and, even actions of the Chairman.”
on the visit of the five Governors to some political leaders-especially in view of his ever persistent role to achieve lasting peace and progress for the party which himself and others nursed from infancy.’’
Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe who noted that the PDP National Chairman has totally rejected the statement by Okpala, however described them as embarrassing and counterproductive
He said, ‘’I am directed by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur(Tafidan Adamawa) to completely deny a press statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Prince Oliver Okpala which was circulated to Media Organisations recently making uncomplimentary remarks about some Northern Governors.
‘’The National Chairman who is currently in Saudi Arabia found the Statement not only embarrassing, but counter productive no matter the intention of the Media Assistant.
‘’The National Chairman was infuriated particularly when the media Assistant singled out 5 Northern Governors who were invited by Mr. President for consultations in Abuja recently.
‘’Between the National Chairman and these Governors, there is a mutual respect up till this moment and they never asked the President to remove the National Chairman as a condition for peace. It was only the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako who is promoting the Agenda of removing the National Chairman which is understandable and they never discussed this with the President.
‘’As a matter of fact, the National Chairman is happy that the Governors are indeed helping his reconciliation efforts particularly their meeting with the President which Amaechi’s face-off with the President was the main issue and substantial progress was made by the Governors and the president in fence mending. There is no way the Chairman could have condemned the Northern Governors talk less of accusing them of overheating the polity as contained in the statement of the Media Assistant.
‘’The National Chairman, therefore wish to re-emphasise his support for any initiative towards reconciliation by party members regardless of who is promoting it.
‘’The Consultative efforts of the 5 Governors took precedent before the newly established reconciliation Committee of the party, therefore it is unthinkable for the Media Assistant to have condemned the Northern governors of not utilizing the reconciliation Committee as a medium or Channel to table their Grievances.
‘’The National Chairman also wish to unequivocally state that he has not resigned as is not ready to resign as Chairman of the party as reported in some section of the press.
‘’Finally, the National Chairman is hereby once again saying that the press Statement by the Media Assistant is regrettable and does not contain his thoughts or his position on the 5 Northern Governors and asked all those who feel embarrassed to over look the overzealousness of his Media Assistant.’’