Quit Letter: PDP Still Needs Your Fatherly Disposition – Tukur Pleads With Obasanjo

Bamanga Tukur-ObasanjoThe National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has pleaded with former President Olusegun Obasanjo to rescind his decision to withdraw his activities from the party.

In a statement late Saturday, Tukur said the party still needs the former president’s fatherly role and experience to get the party on strong footing and to make it more formidable.

Obasanjo had, in a letter dated January 7, 2014, written to the PDP national chairman and copied to President Goodluck Jonathan, informing them of his decision to quit the ruling party because according to him, he cannot remain in the same party where a wanted drug baron, in reference to Buruju Kashamu, is made leader of the party in the South West zone.

However, Tukur, who explained Kashamu’s emergence as a rallying point for the party in the South West, pleaded that the PDP has more pressing challenges, particularly in the coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States as well as the 2015 general elections.

The party, he said, needed Obasanjo’s guidance in confronting some of the challenges, stressing that the need for continuous dialogue and stronger partnership among stakeholders could not be over-emphasized.

He added that the party needed the former president’s support in the struggle to reclaim lost grounds in the South West geopolitical zone.

“I thank you for your gesture and I pray that we shall all continue to dialogue and partner to move our party forward”, the party chairman said in his response.

He explained that the crisis in the Southwest zone of the PDP was in existence before he assumed the leadership of the party, stressing that he did not act in any manner to worsen the situation.

According to him, neither the National Executive Committee (NEC) nor the National Working Committee of PDP took sides in the crisis that rocked the Southwest zone of the party.

His words: “We came in when we were threatened with contempt of court charges for not obeying the court’s order to dissolve the south-west 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.

“It is an honour that you deemed it fit and proper to intimate me with an issue important to your mind and to 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 court orders in the series of cases brought about as a result of disagreements among leaders of the party in the Southwest and Ogun State in particular.

“In my opinion, Buruji became a rallying point because of the absence of a zonal executive in the Southwest. This vacuum in the Southwest 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 order”.

The party chair indicated the decision of the party to conduct a zonal congress in the South-west zone to elect new zonal executive, in compliance with the orders of the courts.

He, however, stressed that for a successful conduct of the planned zonal congress, Obasanjo and other leaders of the party from the zone ought to build a strong consensus for that purpose.