By Godson Azu
BAMANGA TUKUR for PDP chairmanship;” BRINGING TRANSFORMATION” (BT), to the single largest political party institution in Africa with well over 25 milliom members cutting all ethnic diversity, professionalism, religious and gender equity. The party since its inception has established and positioned its political influence on the minds and hearts of the membership inspiring a momentus followership in its contiunious quest for political power and control of government machinaries at all levels of public governance. Considering the philosophy and ideology of this great party as laid down by its founding fathers , which is the foundation stone for all its numerious achievements in the past 13 years . These guiding principles as being carried by the various touch-bearers of the party with regards to the past chairmen and members of the National Executive Committee; National Working Committee; and the Board of Trustees, though on many occations the party has gone through some forms of leadership distrust and insitutional failures, which at one point or the other almost dis-integrated the party and its followership. Base on the past experiences of the party leadership style and skills which are not in line with true party internal democracy, there has been a long standing call and agitation by many within the party for a complete reformation of the structural and operational system of its internal politics to reflect the image of the institution as a political party by the people and for the people. I remmeber asking Alhaji Tukur when we met in London late last year , if it is politics and the constitution that has failed Nigeria, or is it the people that has failed ? and his open minded response was that the Nigerian people and politicians has failed politics.
In view of this huge expectations, and the search by its membership for a new chairman that would lead the party to the next level of power-politics and governance through the unforseen political climate of the nearest future. Having understood the fact that a ‘Political life..is life in the Polity’ which simply means that there is no politics without a people, and there is no people without politics. As, such we want to make it known to all fellow party members, stake-holders, the president, all PDP governors, and all intending national delegates that they should search no further for a new chairman, because our search-light has beamed on a desirable reflection in the darkness of life, which has shown us the true political animal among the lots, with a strong sense of humor, passionate and enthusiasm, exposure, leadership skill, integrity, intellectuality, inter-personal relationship, a detrablized Nigerian and a people oriented personality.
This personality with his huge potentials is no one else than DR. Bamanga Tukur, (BRINGING TRANSFORMATION) BT. An alumnus of the London School of Economics and the University of Pittsburg, Dr Tukur is a man of incredible business influence. His degree at LSE was Transportation and Economics, while the American University presented him with a graduate degree in Public and International Affairs.Dr Tukur has held numerous national appointments in Nigeria, including the directorships of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the Nigerian National Shipping Line, Nigeria Airways, Central Water Transportation Company and the Board of Customs and Exercise. He is a member of the International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) of UNIDO and a member of the OECD Africa Investment Advisory Board. He was elected chairman of the NEPAD Business Group in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002. In the same year, Dr. Tukur was conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Mono (COM) by the President of Togo, His Excellency President Gnassingbe Eyadema, in recognition of his contribution to business in Africa. He was also appointed to the Ghana Investors Advisory Council by H.E. President John Agyekum Kuffuor in June 2002. In December 2003, Dr Tukur was conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.
From among the retinue of potential candidates, Dr. Bamanga Tukur stands out; he possesses those qualities that are unequal with his contending contemporaries and the younger aspirants in the raise. He is a true bridge-builder who can put a stop to the challenges of succession and power-play that has plagued the party in the past five years. As one of the wise-men who founded this party at its initial formation in 1998, his present quest of chairing the party now is not to be seeing as an act of oversight, but rather an intended opportunity that is designed for this very moment in his life-time, as such this former governor of old Gongola state is well-placed to turn things around for good. He holds several political and traditional titles, but the one dearest to the heart of his people is the title Tafida of Adamawa, in recognition of his contribution to grassroots development.
In any milieu of political transformation, DR. Tukur would be a valuable team player of which is currently needed in our great party for greater all inclusive participation in party politics on a level playing ground. As he would continue to use his acquired expertise in bridging the gaps between the three arms of government , the party structure, and the Nigerian people for the greater benefit of the party remaining in power at any subsequent elections both at the state and national levels.
A Tukur-led PDP can project a better image of Nigeria to the outside world than we have seen for some years now. As a private sector breed, Tukur would no doubt promote our economy, using his wealth of experience as a private sector technocrat. With the proposed new foreign policy thrust of the Federal Government, through its ‘Transformation Agenda’ having being a seasoned administrator DR. Tukur, should be able to drive the process and give strong leadership support to president Good-luck Jonathan’s administration in achieving its set goals by 2015.
In the present political dispensation, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, apart from being a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and member of its Board of Trustees was also one of the leading Nigerian politicians of northern extraction who stood behind President Good-luck Ebele Jonathan when it mattered most. He showed intrinsic and unalloyed confidence in Mr President’s ability to take Nigeria to greater heights at a time many others from the North were at best hesitant, perhaps due to the zoning controversy that embroiled the party towards its Presidential primaries. Hopefully the President and the governors would in turn show their unflinching support and confidence on DR. Tukur for the party chairmanship.
He has always being a strong supporter of the diasporas groups around the world, of which in many of his trips to the United Kingdom, America, Europe, and Asia he has developed good and strong relationship with various Nigerian diasporas groups, and as such has joined in many occasion to agitate for their well-being and recognition. So, we in the Diaspora (UK, and Europe) believe that the chairmanship search-light is beaming on DR. Bamanga, and as such the cap fits his head for various reasons, among which is the important fact that he has expressed willingness to wear the cap. One more reason is that he is a tested leader with a vision and decisive action that can provide that Nigerians trust for a unique change in the society and the political institution, a departure from the past and everything that PDP members dreams to actualise in the future for the greater glory on Nigeria.
Godson Azu, is a UK based political and public policy analyst in Europe