In an unprecedented move since the crisis rocking the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, escalated, the national Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has launched a passionate appeal to members of the Abubakar Kawu Baraje faction to close ranks with the mainstream PDP, to enable the party present a common front for the proposed National Conference.
In a statement he personally signed yesterday, Tukur said the ruling party would mobilize Nigerians from all walks of life, including opposition groups, for the success of the conference.
According to Tukur, the conference presents a life time opportunity for Nigerians to rebuild the country’s foundation stressing that the nation would emerge as a true giant of Africa at the end of the exercise.
The statement read in part: “I appeal to members of the PDP to align with the President on the national confab agenda. I also appeal to our aggrieved members to return to the PDP for us to forge a common endeavour towards rebuilding the party and our country in particular.
“For this reason, I will not shy away from begging our party members to come together so we can enter the national confab like a team and set examples for the rest of Nigeria.
“In doing that, we would have demonstrated that we remain the most serious party, not only in Nigeria but in Africa”.
The chairman expressed the party’s excitement at the government’s desire to bring all ethnic nationalities in the country together for discussions on the progress and future of the country.
The PDP chairman singled out President Goodluck Jonathan for praise, saying his decision to give the go-ahead for the convocation of a National Conference was a positive response to the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
Tukur wondered why the idea of the conference was being criticized by certain individuals and groups in the country, who he described as hypocrites because in the past, many of them had called on the President to set machinery in motion for the talks.
While admitting that the ruling party is presently at crossroads, Tukur added that such developments were normal in a democracy.
What is not normal, according to him, “is a situation where dissenting members resolve to permanently stand apart with little regard for the party’s starting line, past efforts in building the party, as well as common aspirations in raising the party to be the most formidable among all”.
The national chairman, whose statement was a radical departure from previous ones which adopted a hardliner posture, restated his determination to pursue with vigour the revival of the ruling party and to put the country on the path of sustainable growth and development.
His words “Let me reiterate that I am not the cause of the crises in our party. From the moment I came in as chairman, my focus has been on reconciliation and party reformation.
“Some entrenched interests opposed that. They, therefore, left us with an impression that PDP does not need a reform. Why must we keep on operating without reforms? For me, such attitude is not encouraging.
“As I speak, the Democratic Party in the United States with assurances from President Barack Obama, has promised to assist the growth of our party and they are serious about it.
“That is instructive, coming from the world’s most respected political party. But we need reforms to carry us through and the reforms we must implement”.