Despite their ‘statesmanlike’ acts in efforts to save Nigeria’s democracy by meeting with former leaders around the country to discuss the most thorny political issues of the day, the quintet of five governors – Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Sule Lamido (Jigawa), and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) – have clearly not impressed the National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, who on Tuesday described as “unguarded” their comments demanding his sacking from the party.
The governors, during their visits to President Goodluck Jonathan, a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, ex-Heads of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, had said only the removal of Tukur would return peace to the party.
However, Tukur who spoke in a statement released by his Media Aide, Mr. Oliver Okpara, on Tuesday, said he had expected the governors to speak with decorum.
The statement read, “We do not know the veracity of this claim, suffice it to say however that the governors have the fundamental rights to meet and discuss with one another and whomsoever they like. They also have the fundamental rights to speak on any issue of national importance.
“However, in so doing, one would expect them to make comments with decorum, humility and caution.
“As leaders, whom the public look upon as role models, they are expected to show respect to constituted authority and the elders, including Tukur, who have contributed immensely to the peace, progress, development and advancement of this country.
“Much as the constitution guarantees certain fundamental freedom, such as freedom of speech and assembly, there are limitations to this freedom and the leaders should show wisdom, caution, prudence and good counsel in their comments on national issues as their unguarded utterances and calls can cause unnecessary political tension.”
Okpara, reminded the governors that the PDP had avenues and internal mechanism for resolution of conflicts and grievances and urged them to avail themselves of these avenues.
He said, “One would have expected the governors to express their grievances privately to the party leadership or the reconciliation committee instead of going to the public with their grievances before seeking audience with other Nigerian leaders.
“There is no doubt that the governors’ peripatetic vision have contributed in no small measure to overheating the polity.”
Further dismissing the governors’ call, Okpara noted that Tukur had contributed immensely to the growth of the party.
He added, “These governors are demanding Tukur’s removal when he has made immense sacrifices for the peace and progress of the PDP and had extended his peculiar kind of brotherly love to all party men and women.”
He, therefore, advised the governors to embrace peace and desist from dramatising the few problems in the party.