…says party needs him now, more than ever . Urges him to ignore Buruji
The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has indicated to former President Olusegun Obasanjo that his fatherly aura and experiences in politics were still required by the party in its drive to get stronger and more formidable.
Tukur made this known in his reply to a letter earlier sent by Obasanjo dated January 7, 2014 to the party and President Jonathan.
He said the PDP has more pressing challenges bothering most importantly on the coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun state as well as the overall general election scheduled for 2015, all which require strong inputs from the former President.
The PDP Chairman, while preaching continuous dialogue and need for stronger partnership among stakeholders of the party, told Obasanjo pointedly that the need for the ruling party to reclaim the lost grounds in the south-west required the full support of party leaders like him.
Sounding conciliatory in his response to Obasanjo’s letter, Tukur expressed gratitude to the manner of approach by the president in presenting his grievances on issues in the PDP southwest, stressing, “I thank you for your gesture and I pray that we shall all continue to dialogue and partner to move our party forward.
Tukur said there is the need for PDP to attain success in the “Governorship elections coming up this year in Ekiti and Osun states and the subsequent elections in 2015 to reclaim lost grounds in the South-West.
The PDP Chairman took time to address the complaint by the former President on the state of PDP in the south-west. He said the crises within the PDP in the zone had been there before he took over the mantle of leadership of the party.
He noted also that the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee of PDP were never party of the problems in the south-west PDP, adding, “We came in when we were threatened with contempt of Court Charges for not obeying the court’s order to dissolve the southwest zonal Executive and remove some officers of the party.
“We complied with the Court’s orders because of our belief in the rule of law and to avoid consequences of disobeying such orders. Tukur’s reply to Obasanjo read in part, “It is an honour that you deemed it fit and proper to intimate me with an issue important to your mind and our party in the south-west zone.
It is my wish and prayer that such cordial and positive relationship will continue between your good self; former President and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of our great party on one hand, and my humble self, the National Chairman of our party on the other hand” “Buruji Kasamu came to limelight in politics as a result of the role he played in the politics of Ogun State where both of you come from.
He later became a rallying point in the south-west following the Courts’ Orders in the series of cases brought about as a result of disagreements among leaders of the party in the south-west, and Ogun state in particular.
“In my opinion, Buruji became a rallying point because of the absence of a zonal executive in the south-west. This vacuum in the south-west has made him the person to whom many members in all the chapters of the party in the zone approach for one form of assistance or the other”
The Chairman disclosed to Obasanjo plans by the PDP to conduct a zonal congress in the south-west zone to elect new zonal executive to be in authority in the zone, in compliance with the orders of the courts.
He said for such zonal congress to hold successfully Obasanjo and other leaders from the southwest should build a strong consensus for that purpose.