BAMANGA TUKUR: A VISTA OF HOPE FOR PDP
BY FRANCIS EDE
IN a remarkable commitment to the sustenance of its zoning and rotational arrangement, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a bid to deepen the roots of democracy in the country and also maintain its vast electoral fortune has zoned the position of its National Chairman to the North East geo-political zone of the federation.
The party has also striven ceaselessly to maintain a fair and equitable distribution of important positions(elective and appointive) among the six geo-political zones in the country, in the aftermath of the 2011 general elections, assuaging in the process all frayed nerves before the election.
At the moment, the most pressing issue confronting the party after the successful inauguration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's government and his appointment of ministers and other presidential aides, is the election of credible officers when it convenes in Abuja for that purpose early next year. As things stand now, some of the frontline officers of the party are on acting capacities, including the National Chairman and Secretary.
Moreover, the constitutionally guaranteed time-frame of four years for all the elected officers of the party at all levels: local governments, states and the national are quite close to the end of their tenure.
So, the search for potential officer is on. And aspirants are already criss-crossing the land canvassing for support and adoption.
But given the enormity of the challenges confronting President Jonathan's administration in the area of national security, effective management of the economy and promotion of sustainable development, poverty alleviation and job creation, infrastructural decay and power failure which hinder the enterprises and good efforts of Nigerians at self- sustenance and economic wellbeing, the party must be proactive in the choice of its next crop of leaders.
This becomes more imperative if it must retain the confidence of Nigerians and also maintain its lead in electoral outcomes as the biggest and strongest party in Africa.
In doing this, the party members must elect as leaders men and women of honour, integrity and a large dose of enthusiasm to serve at its upcoming wards, local government and state congresses.
While at the national level, the party must elect men and women of impeccable character and nationalistic instincts to complement the good team that President Jonathan has assembled to implement his transformation agenda to the joy of Nigerians.
It is in this vein, that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur comes in as the most suitable person to fill in the position of the National Chairman of the party as has already been zoned to his North East geo-political constituency.
Alhaji Tukur is a man of delectable aristocratic heritage, a quintessential business guru and industrialist, seasoned administrator and technocrat, farmer, respectable politician and leader with remarkable followership. He also comes across as a man of the people.
A man of integrity, principle and honour, when experience, exposure, contact and outreach count, Alhaji Tukur is it! He stands shoulder high above other eminent politicians from the North East zone who are also jostling for the position of the National Chairman of PDP.
Alhaji Tukur is Executive President of African Business Roundtable, a Pan-African organisation aimed at promoting business and investment between the continent and the rest of the world. He is also the chairman of NEPAD Business Group. And he has used these two platforms tremendously well in helping the economies of African nation states grow by focusing on driving maximum benefits from our trade and investment dealings with the rest of the world.
Alhaji Tukur is the toast of the world business community because of his integrity, transparency, honesty and tenacity towards promoting trade balance between African countries and their trading partners.
Recently in New York, United States of America, President Jonathan was able to sell his economic agenda to an expansive audience of both Nigerians in Diaspora and foreign chieftains of industries and economic experts in a Nigeria investment summit and exhibition organised by the African Business Roundtable.
The forum provided the right business environment and attitude, developing trust and mutual understanding between Nigerians and the foreigners who are eager to explore our vast business opportunities. It also erased in the process the negative imputations of fraud and dubiousness with which many of these foreigners beheld us.
Alhaji Tukur was also a former Governor of old Gongola State in 1983. He routed the then government of Great Nigeria Peoples Party, GNPP, in the State to make way for the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, government, through his popularity and mass movement.
Even though his tenure was short- lived, his blueprint for developing the state which has now been split into Adamawa and Taraba states had a wonderful imprint of statesmanship and selfless leadership. Its development strategy, while being acknowledged as visionary and priceless, was the nucleus of social re-engineering in the two states.
Worthy of note also is that the present Nigeria media mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of AIT Television and Raypower Radio stations was his chief of staff at the then Government House, Yola.
While his tenure as Minister of Industries recorded a remarkable effort at revving our ailing industries and prompting the establishment of new ones, his tenure as the General Manager and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority was the hallmark of patriotic and nationalistic inclination, which saw the multiplication of indigenous ship owners. It was the golden era of Nigerians in shipping business.
He has also at various times been a director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the Nigerian Shipping Line, Nigeria Airways, Central Water Transportation and the Board of Customs and Exercise.
In the present political dispensation, Alhaji Tukur, apart from being a founding member of the PDP and member of its Board of Trustees was also one of the leading Nigerian politicians of Northern extraction who stood behind President Jonathan when it mattered most.
He showed intrinsic and unalloyed confidence in Mr. President's ability to take Nigeria to greater heights at a time many others from the North were at best hesitant, perhaps due to the zoning controversy that embroiled the party towards its Presidential primaries.
His chairmanship of Dr. Jonathan's presidential declaration late last year, which attracted an unprecedented crowd was an eloquent testimony to his total confidence in Mr. president's ability to deliver, not just by winning the election but by upping the social comfort of Nigerians.
The wisdom, experience and cautious temperament of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur are needed to blend with the youthful vigor and zeal of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and vice president Namadi Sambo.
Such harmonious integration and linkage between the leadership of the party and the echelon of the government it produced would be amazing to behold. And it will also be a wonderful catalyst to sustainable economic growth and development of the nation.
Francis Ede, Poet and Journalist wrote in from Abuja