The altercation between the two factions of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continued on Wednesday with the chairman of the “old” PDP, Bamanga Tukur and secretary of the “new” PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola engaging in hot verbal exchanges.
Tukur, who fired the first shot in reaction to a statement credited to Oyinlola that the factional PDP chairman is a “dictator” and the main cause of the crisis rocking the party, described the former Osun State governor as a “Military Dictator”.
Tukur’s response, contained in a statement by his media relations directorate, said Oyinlola’s statement “is both laughable and ridiculous for the world knows the antecedents of Chief Oyinlola as a Military Dictator and Administrator, whose style of politics is at variance with the current political dispensation in the country.
“It is a fact that Oyinlola was one of those Military punch who held down our democracy for a long time. As a former Military man, Chief Oyinlola is an unrepentant dictator of the first-order,” Mr. Tukur added.
He also said under normal circumstance, Oyinlola should not be heard mouthing “platitudes or righteous pontifications on the ideals of democracy and the rule of law” because by training and orientation “he is a slave to order and command of the military”.
The statement added that Oyinlola’s anger with Tukur and the party stems from his removal as national secretary “on the account of the flaws inherent in his election”.
“He has directed his aggression to the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yet Tukur has no hand in his political travails,” it said.
The statement claimed that Mr. Oyinlola was “smuggled in as national secretary, even when he was bereft of the basic competence, experience and the pedigree needed to hold such a sensitive position in a big political organization like the PDP”.
The statement added, “Since his removal from office following the patent loop-holes in the electoral process that produced him, Oyinlola has continued to besiege the portals of our Courts in search of far fetch reliefs which are neither here nor there. Besides, he now relishes brick-backs and vitriolic on perceived enemies especially Alhaji Tukur.
“Unfortunately, Oyinlola has refused to understand that Tukur is not the architect of his political problems. Oyinlola’ nemesis is traceable and also has its roots on the way and manner in which he was foisted on a Party that is the bastion of democracy in Nigeria, Africa and the entire black world,” it said.
In his equally acerbic response, Oyinlola dismissed Tukur’s submissions as one coming from an elder who has gone “senile.”
“Why we don’t want to join issues with Baba Tukur out of respect for old age, one can excuse him on his account of senility. Tukur has gone senile,” he said.
Mr. Oyinlola continued, “Tukur once granted an interview in which he described me as a fine officer and a gentleman, this same view was expressed by Olisa Metuh in a media interview recently. His statement shows inconsistency and poor leadership qualities.”
In apparent response to the assertion that he lacked the quality to hold the position of national secretary of a “big political organization” like PDP, Oyinlola posited that “It is on record at the headquarters of the PDP, that the period I served as national secretary marked remarkable changes in the administration of the PDP.”
Oyinlola stated that he stopped some of the excesses of Mr. Tukur while he held sway as National Secretary of the Tukur-led PDP.
“I made sure that all the rules and regulations of the PDP were strictly followed to the latter and that made it impossible for Tukur to appoint Chief of Staff, which he wanted in violation of extant rules and regulations,” he said.
“He also attempted to appoint innumerable special advisers who were unknown to the establishment manual of the PDP.
“It is on record and you can ask any member of the National Working Committee that he used his special advisers as parallel NWC members thus effectively undermining the leadership of the party,” he said.
Mr. Oyinlola described Mr. Tukur as the most unpopular national chairman of the party ever.
“Tukur should attempt to do an opinion survey at the headquarters of his PDP and I assured him that his findings would make him abdicate his position without further delay based on the fact that he lacks the support of even members of staff, who regard his authoritative style as defector responsible for the crisis in the PDP,” the former governor said.
“That I’m a stickler for due process is a plus for me and Tukur should find out if I ever circumvented rules and regulations or act in an improper manner that he (Tukur) always do in company with his co-travellers.
“Everybody knows that Tukur’s tenure so far has been the worst in the 14 years history of the party and nobody should be surprised that Tukur who came in with preconceived personal agenda of caging and antagonizing state governors and other interest groups in the PDP, has been a monumental failure and he is the root of all the crises within the PDP today.”