PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
The reconciliation agenda of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, suffered a setback Tuesday when Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State asked the party to block former members of the party who defected to other parties to contest elections from returning to the party.
He also justified the 36 state governors’ demand for a state police, insisting that it was in the best way to combat crimes in a presidential system.
Bamanga Tukur is running a three-point agenda of “Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebuilding the PDP”.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the members of the National Working Committee (NWC),Jang said, “Those that left the PDP to contest elections against the party should remain in those parties and provide constructive opposition and multi-party platforms. This is more beneficial for our type of liberal democracy”
Justifying his position, the Plateau State Governor further said, “We are persuaded in this that just as Mr. President had reasons to counsel those who think parties are mere platforms for seeking for elections into public offices, and often jump from one party to another”, explaining that the idea of putting pressure for their return from the national secretariat was not in the interest of the party.
Continuing, Jang told Bamanga Tukur, “Mr. Chairman would know that only members of the party, who still identify with the party and who are aggrieved because of some actions or in actions of the leadership, can seek to be reconciled. It may not be appropriate to discuss reconciliation with people who are jumping from one party to another seeking only for election platforms. What we need is a proper consolidation of our membership details, in line with the efforts of one of your predecessors for computerisation”.
However, he explained that if those who left the party should be allowed to come back, then they should do so by re-registering as members of PDP through their respective wards, saying, “Even for former members who defected from the party know the provisions for rejoining the party - interestingly, all of these steps start at the ward level.”
According to Jang, “You seat down at the Security Council with the security operatives in the states take decision in the best interest of the state and then your people will tell you that we are unable to carry out this decision that you have taken with them because their bosses in Abuja feel otherwise. This is not good for the country and it is not helping us.”
Giving instance why the State Police is imperative, he added, “And that is why sometime crisis that we can stamp out within a short time keep dragging .Look at the typical example when the plateau crisis started in 2008 we arrested 250 people from Niger and Chard and we were then investigating them, suddenly we had to bring them to Abuja to be investigated in Abuja and we never saw them again.
“Again people were arrested in various crisis and they will be investigated from Abuja we do not see them again but you know that the constitution of Nigeria says that if you commit an offence you should be investigated in the place you committed the offence and then you will be charged for trial but this is not happening in Nigeria because of the system of the security we have,” he explained.