Friday, June 14, 2013

Tukur And Wamakko in a War of words

The crises in the Peoples Democratic Party are getting messier as its leadership and the suspended Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, have gone for each other’s jugulars.

Wamakko first threw the salvo at PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, on Wednesday night by accusing him (Tukur) of incompetence and running the party as his personal business.

“He (Tukur) has been running the PDP as a personal business from his private home,” he told his supporters on his arrival from a foreign trip in Sokoto. The governor, who had earlier called on President Goodluck Jonathan to relieve Tukur of his job, also wants the same treatment meted out to the President’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak.

Wamakko said, “As far as I am concerned, Tukur and Gulak should be sacked because they are not competent to hold their positions.”

But Tukur, who did not take the governor’s vituperation lightly, fired back on Thursday, saying he (Wamakko) lacked the “moral fibre to remain in office.”

His Special Assistant on Media, Oliver Okpala, who spoke for him, said “When he insults an elderly man like Tukur because he is a governor, then we don’t think he has the moral fibre to remain in office because as a governor he should live by example.”

Okpala claimed that the PDP leadership was aware of the alleged romance between Wamakko and leaders of the yet-to-registered All Progressives Congress.

He said, “If he has any agenda to leave the PDP, it is within his constitutional right and he is free, but as long as he remains within the PDP, he must align himself with discipline.

“He should not stay in the party and be encouraging insubordination and indiscipline. The leadership of the party under Tukur has regards for party discipline and will never waver.”

On the claim that Wamakko described the PDP chairman as a political prostitute, Okpala said it was wrong for him to have done so.

The chairman’s Special Assistant called on Wamakko to learn from another suspended governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who he said had not abused anyone.

Okpala said, “For him to say Tukur is a political prostitute does not portray him as a true son. He should express a true sense of respect and discipline because of his position as a governor.

“The example he is showing now does not portray him as someone who has respect for seniority and properly constituted authority like the position of chairman of the PDP and the NWC.”

On the call for Tukur’s removal, Okpala said that as a father to every member of the PDP , Tukur had taken the call with calm.

He said no one should see Tukur’s and PDP leadership’s determination to bring discipline to the party as a personal vendetta.

“When there is no discipline, there will be anarchy and when anarchy sets in, there will be retrogression,” he added.

Okpala also took on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mallam Aminu Tambuwal, who described Wamakko’s suspension as illegal.

Arguing that Tambuwal was free to support his state governor, Okpala said, “The speaker, as a party man, should toe the line of political discipline and comportment.

“Tukur, as a father, will always look after his children who are party members and be able to caution them and bring them to order whenever they engage in acts that are subversive to the corporate existence and image of the PDP as a political entity and the largest political movement in Africa.”

In his own reaction, Gulak said the call by Wamakko for his removal showed that he (governor) was ignorant of the party’s workings.

Gulak told one of our correspondents, that if Wammako had belonged to the PDP from inception, he would have known that its members were bound by rules and regulations.

He said if the governor called for his removal because he was suspended from the PDP, he ought to know that as a presidential aide, his responsibilities did not include the running of the party.

Gulak said, “If Wammako made that statement because he was suspended from the party, he should know that the PDP has hierarchy as well as rules and regulations that all members, no matter their positions, are expected to obey failing which they will be sanctioned.

“Rather than saying that the PDP chairman is not competent, the governor should search himself and identify his shortcomings and accept them.

“For me, I have nothing to do with his suspension. I am not a member of the party’s NWC. I am a presidential aide, he does not seem to understand that the Presidency has nothing to do with the running of the party.

“Wammako’s utterances are misplaced and based on ignorance. May be because he did not belong to the PDP from inception because he came from the ANPP and so he does not understand the workings of the party.”

Speaking with one of our correspondents earlier, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the party was not against the rally held by Wamakko’s supporters to welcome him.

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