At 80 Tukur identifies ethnicity, religion as Nigeria’s key problems.


Bamanga Tukur

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Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bamanga Tukur, yesterday declared that issues of ethnicity, religion and injustice were at the centre of Nigeria’s development problems.

Addressing a press conference to mark his 80th birthday in Abuja, Tukur also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had not deviated from his promise to rid Nigeria of corrupt practices as well as bringing terrorism and insurgency to an end.

The former PDP boss also expressed disappointment over the manner the issue of internal democracy was handled in the party shortly before the general election pointing out that the he was totally against imposition of candidates while he served as the party’s national chairman.

He lamented that politics in Nigeria had been dominated with issues of ethnicity and religion:

Ethnicity should be removed from our politics. What we must bring into our politics is equity, justice and for us to be our brothers keeper. We can do it. I have told you, God has given you land, and as people, we must be united. That is what He gave to every nation on earth.”

On the PDP and its problems, Tukur declared that he had to quit as chairman because he was faced with bitter opposition on the issue of internal democracy.

Well, I thought we were in a system of democracy and my views are such that what I believe in is what I will preach. I want election and people say they want selection. If the majority or the strong people in the PDP did not believe in it then the chioce or the next thing for me to do was to leave.

It is either I leave or they leave but I did not want them to leave so decided to leave. At that time, people said I am preaching internal democracy instead of imposition. So it will be difficult for me to sit down”

Tukur however expressed confidence that the PDP would take time to find out what went wrong and take steps to address the issues.

Sure the party will rediscover itself. I am sure about that, it is their own party and they can find out what have gone wrong . If for 16 years people allowed you to rule them and in the 17 th year they say no, you have to find our why they said no.”.

He also advised Buhari to ensure that the right persons were given ‎the opportunity to serve as ministers without giving undue considerations to political leanings.

Don’t give job to who wants the job give the job to whom the job wants.”‎ Tukur stated.

On Buhari’s fight corruption, Tukur said: “When Buhari came he said he want to confront corruption, insecurity , unemployment and power; he set an agenda, the nation is working and is going on.

To me, they are going the right way, they are not deviating from what they said they will do,” Tukur added.


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