You can't carry out your threats - New PDP legislators tell Tukur

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives members of the Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday told the party's national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that he could not recall members of the National Assembly who have pledged their loyalty to the New PDP nor could he declare their seats in the National Assembly vacant.

A statement issued by Hon. Sokonte Davies (PDP/Rivers) on behalf of the 57 House members, who have identified with the new group, accused Tukur of being a stranger to the party and was working towards its destruction.

The group defiantly reiterated its loyalty to the Baraje-led National Executive Committee (NEC) recently installed last Saturday by the faction, saying Tukur had ceased to be the chairman of the party.

According to the group, Tukur could afford to do whatever he likes with the PDP because he was not there at its formative stage and does not share the visions of its founding fathers.

The G57 also chided Tukur over the threat to arrest members of the faction, stating that such a culture of repression of dissenting voices belonged to the military era and not to a democratic setting.

They warned security agencies not to allow themselves to be dragged into the political arena and advised them to reject the invitation to support impunity.

The statement read thus: 'It has been brought to our attention the statement credited to AlhajiĀ  Bamanga Tukur, the erstwhile National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Indeed, it is unfortunate if he really made the comments credited to him. 'For the avoidance of doubt, we state that it is this type of garrison attitude that has brought the PDP to where it is today and that is why we shall spare no effort to redeem it from those who are bent on destroying it, like Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

'You know, it is easy to destroy a thing and since Bamanga Tukur was not a founding father of the party, he does not understand the underlying principles and reasons why it was founded in the first place. PDP was founded on the principle of national consensus building and to be a platform to unite the various sections and interests in the country.

'The nation was going adrift and well-meaning leaders and patriots decided to form this all-embracing political party which every Nigerian will be proud to belong to and to provide a nexus for nation building. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was not one of those patriots.

'Again, as he had operated the constitution of the party mostly in breach, he thinks that he can also do the same with the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act. From all relevant sections of these laws and as severally pronounced by the Supreme Court, you cannot declare anybody's seat vacant, especially when the party is in factions.

'Moreover, since he has not been a member of the party, he does not also know that PDP is the greatest beneficiary of party factionalisation in the present dispensation of our democratic journey.

'Furthermore, we don't know when political disagreements within a political party became a state offence such that the former chairman of PDP should ask the security agencies to harass and arrest his opponents. We thought this was what the military and the political cowards did.

'However, we are not surprised, nonetheless, because a drowning man can hold on to anything he thinks will help him stay afloat and survive. Weaklings and losers always seek to use whatever powers they think are at their disposal, irrespective of how inappropriate that may be, to shore up a lost cause.

'On this note, we also hope that the relevant authorities will call him to order because when this is not done and they are accused of supporting impunity and being complicit, the usual mantra of being dragged into a matter they are not involved in shall surface again.

'We want to believe that the presidency and security agencies are not about to participate in illegality in order to preserve a drowning man.'