The Peoples Democratic Party,PDP has lampooned opposition Action Congress of Nigeria,ACN for calling on Bamanga Tukur,its national chairman to resign over the trial of son Mahmud Tukur for fuel subsidy fraud.PDP in statement today by Chief Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary described ACN’s call hypocritical and laughable.
“While we are not surprised at the propensity of the ACN to make political capital out of every passing event in Nigeria, we find this posturing hypocritical, laughable and a desperate measure to smear the image of an individual who stands very tall in his contributions to the development of our country” the PDP spokesman said.
PDP also claimed that ACN is a politically impotent opposition. “As the Party holding the mandate and trust of the people of Nigeria, we shall continue to show example on all matters of morality and good governance. We shall however not allow the integrity of our leaders to be wantonly violated, neither shall we succumb to blackmail from a very vocal but politically impotent opposition”.
Read the full text of PDP statement below:
30 July 2012.
Our attention has been drawn to outlandish and sheepish pronouncements by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) calling for the resignation of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the ongoing trial of one of his sons in the petroleum subsidy saga.
While we are not surprised at the propensity of the ACN to make political capital out of every passing event in Nigeria, we find this posturing hypocritical, laughable and a desperate measure to smear the image of an individual who stands very tall in his contributions to the development of our country.
Our initial disposition is to ignore comments like this. However, in order to set the records straight especially in the minds of those who may be swayed by the ACN’s warped logic, we wish to state categorically that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Dr Bamanga Tukur, CON is not on trial, neither has he been linked to any of the allegations on the current petroleum subsidy trials. We have stated severally that the son of the Chairman currently facing trial is an adult and is fully responsible for all his actions in the eyes of the law. We shall therefore not allow the name and dignity of our revered Chairman to be dragged into an issue he knows nothing about.
Secondly, it is interesting that the ACN, which has been on record as casting doubts over the Federal Government’s commitment to prosecuting those involved in fuel subsidy matters is suddenly enmeshed in a juvenile frenzy, dishing out judgments even before trials are concluded. What is expected from a responsible opposition like it is done all over the world is to give credit where it is due, and criticize where necessary. The decision by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to bring to trial those who have allegations standing against them is a clear signal that the government has nothing to hide and there are no sacred cows. We thought that the ACN will for once rise above petty partisan considerations and acknowledge this fact. Unfortunately, they have once more missed another opportunity to earn the status of a decent organization.
Contrary to insinuations by the opposition, it is on record that the PDP is the only Party in Nigeria that does not unduly interfere in judicial processes involving its members. The same cannot be said of the ACN. For instance, when the educational qualifications of Senator Bola Tinubu, the ACN’s National Leader were questioned, the entire Party machinery, operating under its earlier metamorphosis as Alliance for Democracy(AD) rose up and vilified anyone that called for a mere investigation. Every effort was deployed to frustrate the investigation. The ACN has also turned the other way in the case of a N500 million fraud allegation against the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly. There has been no call for the Speaker to resign.
Till date, there is no record of any ACN official or chieftain standing trial in any ACN controlled State despite the barrage of cases of misconduct in these states.
We wish to state here that nothing can distract the synergy that currently exists between the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Federal Government of Nigeria especially in the determination to reform and recreate the moral fabric of the nation. We are committed to creating a level playing field for all Nigerians in every aspect of our national life. We wish to create a Nigeria where no one will suffer for the perceived wrong doings of another person. We must also uphold the principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
The call by ACN for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to resign is therefore not only an assault on his fundamental rights but also a wild misadventure by a clueless group that is ignorant on the workings of due process. We wish to remind them that the PDP is not operated on the basis of the opinions of the ACN.
As the Party holding the mandate and trust of the people of Nigeria, we shall continue to show example on all matters of morality and good governance. We shall however not allow the integrity of our leaders to be wantonly violated, neither shall we succumb to blackmail from a very vocal but politically impotent opposition.
Chief Olisa Metuh
National Publicity Secretary