Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has tasked the new chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, on rebuilding the party’s internal democracy and reclaiming states lost to the opposition.
Mr. Atiku said the success of the new PDP leader, who is only two months in office, will be judged by the number of new states won by the PDP under his leadership and the strength of the party democracy.
The charge came from key members of the governing party including Mr. Abubakar, the party’s former Board of Trustees chairman, Tony Anenih, Governors Aliyu Babangida, Murtala Nyako, Idris Wada and Isa Yuguda of Niger, Adamawa, Kogi and Bauchi states respectively, at a reception for Mr. Tukur as the PDP new national chairman.
The event, held at his Jada residence in Adamawa state on Saturday, also had in attendance the party’s women leader, Kema Chikwe, and former acting chairman, Bello Halliru.
The party leaders said entrenching internal democracy and party discipline within its fold was vital to regaining the “cohesiveness of the party and respect as a democratic entity.”
The members, who all took turns to present their goodwill messages, lauded the virtues of Mr. Tukur, but stressed the need for more fairness and equity in a party that has seen serious divisions in the past.
The former vice president, Mr. Abubakar, said the absence of equity within the party, which is critical to developing a strong democracy, was responsible for the frustration of estranged party members, and also accounted for a bolstered opposition.
Mr. Abubakar also stated that Mr. Tukur’s election could not have come at a more “momentous period” when the party was confronted with a lot of challenges, particularly fledgling internal democracy and the insecurity challenge confronting the nation which has roots in the North East.
The former BOT chairman, Mr. Annenih, harped on the need to ensure party discipline, and underlined his charge with a call on the party to ensure that states under the control of the opposition are lured back into the PDP fold.
In his response, Mr. Tukur pledged to rebuild the party and ensure strict compliance of all organs of the party to the ideals of democracy. He said the party and the country faced, “serious challenges that required very serious commitment and the support of all.”
“Our country today faces a number of daunting challenges of abject poverty, unemployment, youth restiveness and near neglect of agriculture and most importantly, the challenge of the alarming prevalence of corruption as well as the decline of our value system,” he said.
“Many of these problems have been with us for long, but some of them have only recently, started to stare us in the face. Indeed, a few of these problems have been as a result of a dysfunctional society. The most challenging is the use of extreme violence as an instrument of agitation. It is important that we all come together to find solution to these unfortunate development,” the party leader said.
He said under his watch, PDP governors will be made to discharge their duties “diligently with commitment to build on the ideals of democracy” vowing to ensure their “full compliance”.