The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on Tuesday, appealed to the younger generation of Nigerian politicians to respect him and other older politicians, whose experience, wise counsel and discipline, he said they could benefit from.
Mr. Tukur’s plea was contained in a message signed by his media aide, Oliver Okpala and addressed to the nation to mark his 78th birthday which he celebrated on Sunday.
The PDP national chairman had in recent times being described as “incompetent” as a result of his old age but he disagreed saying he still has a lot to offer.
“I want to appeal to younger politicians to show deserved respect to their senior compatriots,” Mr Tukur said.
“We, the older politicians, should not be written off yet or regarded as spent political forces. We are still relevant to the nation and the younger politicians will benefit greatly from our experience, wise counsel, guidance and discipline.”
He noted that Nigeria would progress more rapidly with the right blend of old and young politicians, adding that this would facilitate cross fertilization of ideas and frank exchange of views on how to move the country forward.
According to him, “no young generation which treats her old and experience statesmen without respect and decorum ever succeeds.”
Mr Tukur said he had benefitted tremendously from the Nigerian society, adding that at his age, it was only right that he gave back to society the experience he had so far garnered.
He expressed gratitude to God for giving him life, saying, “Certainly, it is not by power or might or by self-effort. It is by the sheer grace of God for which I remain eternally grateful, humble and challenged to make Nigeria a better place than I met it.
“My birthday gift to my beloved country Nigeria is a prayer that Nigeria will be great, strong, prosperous, and a veritable giant in the comity of Nations the world over.”
In apparent reference to the PDP crisis, the national chairman called for truce, urging politicians and Nigerians alike, to embrace peace because according to him, it was the minimum condition for development.
“I preach peace to all politicians and Nigerians alike,” he said. “Peace is invaluable. It is the minimum condition for development. It is the foundation for friendly and mutual concourse. It is perhaps the most important element requisite for meaningful and sustainable progress of any nation.
“Nigerians should eschew violence, terrorism, brigandage and lawlessness. Politicians should embrace peace so that we will all enjoy the dividends of our democracy.”
Mr. Tukur also drummed up support for President Goodluck Jonathan “as he drives the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government with clear vision, mission and objective of holistically transforming the entire Nigerian social, economic, political and infrastructural landscape in order to make life more abundant and more meaningful for the Nigerian people.”