Elder statesman and former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Bamanga Tukur has called on the leadership and members of major political parties in the country to eschew bitterness and rancour as they engage in internal manoeuvring for power to ensure the protection of the nation’s democracy.
Dr Tukur said he decided to make this intervention because of the current bad blood, rancorous disunity and widening cracks in the major parties, including the All Progressives Congress, APC and main opposition, PDP.
In a statement by Chief Oliver Okpala, his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Tukur expressed worry that if this current spate of disunity and acrimony in parties continue, the nation’s democracy would be greatly endangered.
“Without unity and cohesion amongst the leadership of political parties, democracy cannot thrive” he said.
“Democracy only thrives when there is peace, stability and proper functioning of internal conflict resolution mechanisms of political parties”
He emphasized that “The current humongous crisis in the two major political parties in the country is indeed a cause to worry”
According to Dr. Tukur, being an elder statesman who is no longer involved in partisanship, he is deeply unsettled and disturbed by current events in the PDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
“The current situation where leaders of political parties are only interested in enriching themselves to the detriment of the party that they should be serving is a dangerous trend that must be stopped”
“This love for money ,filthy lucre
and lack of genuine interest in party sustenance spells danger for the system” he maintained.
“It is a fearful thing that some political leaders have constituted themselves as blocks of charlatans in the major parties for selfish and mercantile interests”
“For us who fought for the entrenchment of democratic governance in the country, we remain convinced that only the development of political parties as dynamic institutions can ultimately guarantee good governance”
”What is happening in the country at all levels is therefore giving we, elder Statesman, seriously cause for concern”
“Anybody who sees political parties as a vehicle for personal wealth should excuse themselves from the scene or be shown the way out,” he said.
“It is disheartening to see party leaders deliberately creating disunity amongst members to gain undue personal advantage to the detriment of the organization”
“Just because their bid to occupy some political positions are threatened they keep inciting all kinds of thuggery, invectives and instability as well as brigandage. This is not the way to go!”
“These trouble makers must realize that political parties are agencies to provide service to the people which is paramount before every other considerations”
Dr Tukur who led the PDP in the Jonathan Era, also cautioned the executive arm of government against high-handedness and interference.
He explained that “The Executive arms should allow party leaders and stakeholders to freely operate the parties for the good of all without interference. They should rather assist in making the parties more formidable and not to pull down the house. When the parties are strong, the job of the Executive becomes easier”
“When parties are not funded or allowed to operate independently , then the Executive arms would have problems because they were members of political parties before assuming Executive whatever positions they know occupy”
“This symbiotic relationship between the Executive and political party leadership must be well understood and appreciated”
“We are alarmed about the way the younger generation is scampering and scheming for money, power and influence without caution; abandoning the nobility of the calling”
The elder statesman stressed that “Our current crop of party leaders must learn and recommit themselves to the time tested principle of developing political parties as dynamic public institutions not as personal rent- seeking properties or channels”
“Helmsmen of political parties in the country should now show commitment to stable and transparent leadership, be primed to promote good governance at all levels which the country is in dire need of”
“The politics of rancour, bitterness, crass acquisition and greed should now be jettisoned”
“When we established political parties, it was to create avenues for service to humanity, not for self-enrichment”
“Politicians should also know when it is time for them to retire or quit the scene to create room for new ideas and for the younger generation to contribute their own quota to national development. We must rescue our political parties from the wolves before the whole political space is muddled up irretrievably as the judiciary is already caving into the pressure and issuing injunctions and counter injections on the same matter.”
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