•Tukur, Oyinlola in war of words
The Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to forget the possibility of winning the 2015 Presidential election if the ongoing reconciliation efforts in the party do not yield results.
The faction otherwise known as New PDP believes that the President will be making a huge political mistake if he feels he can win the election without the votes of the seven states currently under its (New PDP) control.
The faction also called on Jonathan to prevail on the embattled National Chairman of PDP, Bamanga Tukur, to stop disparaging former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Tony Anenih, who are making efforts at uniting the party.
The New PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, warned the President to “wake up and stop being deceived” by persons who have no electoral value, yet swarming round him and deceiving him on how well they can help actualise his 2015 Presidential dream.
The statement said the seven states under the firm control of the New PDP “are very key to the election of any President in Nigeria,” adding that the President will be doing himself a lot of ill if he ignores the electoral value of the states which have large voting power.
The states under the control of the New PDP are Rivers, Kano, Adamawa, Kwara, Niger, Jigawa and Sokoto.
“Mr. President should not be deceived by some party leaders who are making him believe that he can do without us.
“Most of these leaders currently cannot under a properly organised free and fair election win their wards.
“It is obvious that no Presidential election in Nigeria can be won without states like Rivers, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kwara, Jigawa and Niger states, and these are states we are controlling.
“Check the past general elections and see that some of these media-created PDP leaders have no followers in their states at the moment not to talk of making any impact come 2015” the statement warned.
The hard stance of Tukur and his seeming reluctance to allow elders of the party settle the rift, the New PDP said, is a big setback for the reconciliation efforts, which it added, will not do the party any good.
It said the attempt to clampdown on state chapters of the party who are showing loyalty to the New PDP will further divide the PDP and create more problems for the reconciliation efforts of the party leaders.
Tukur and his group were also warned to stop disparaging the personalities of Obasanjo and Anenih who are making efforts at ensuring that the ongoing crisis within the party is amicably resolved.
The group pleaded with the party leaders “not to be deterred by those who are feeding fat on the crisis as we are ready to assist them in any way possible to enable them restore peace to our great party.”
“The latest of the belligerent actions by the Tukur faction is the ill-advised move to take over the party’s structures in the states of the Governors loyal to Baraje’s leadership.
“We wish to advise Tukur and his NWC against this or any other action capable of worsening the crisis. We say enough is enough!”
Meanwhile, Tukur and National Secretary of the New PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, engaged themselves in open confrontation on Wednesday when they both exchanged insults.
Oyinlola is the immediate past National Secretary of the PDP under the chairmanship of Tukur before he was pushed out of office by a court order.
Tukur started the mudslinging on Wednesday morning when his Special Assistant on Media issued a statement in which he described Oyinlola as someone who lacks the mental capacity to hold a sensitive political office like the National Secretary of PDP.
He went further to describe Oyinlola as someone who, as a former soldier, “is an unrepentant dictator of the first-order.”
Oyinlola himself fired back swiftly, describing Tukur as “an old man who has gone senile.”
He added: “While we don’t want to join issues with Baba Tukur out of respect for old age, one can excuse him on his account of senility. Tukur has gone senile.”
Tukur in the statement by his aide had said Oyinlola has continued to hold him (Tukur) responsible for his (Oyinlola) ouster from office, a situation, he said, was untrue.
He insisted that all allegations leveled against him by Oyinlola were untrue, just as he lambasted the former Osun State Governor for being unqualified ab-initio to occupy the office of PDP secretary from which the court sent him packing.