The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Tunji Shelle has explained reasons why the former National Chairman of the ruling party, Bamanga Tukur, had denied his impending resignation on different occasions despite the high-powered meetings which took place to determine the party’s fate, in the light of its dwindling membership.
“He said it because of his personal convictions that he was doing the right thing. He was protecting PDP. He was protecting Mr President,” Shelle said.
Mr Tukur, who assumed the position in March 2012, vacated the office on Thursday as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan. However, the resignation which Mr Shelle said was not forced but took time to be concretised.
“It took a lot of time. It took a lot of calculations. It took a lot of wisdom. It took a lot of meetings from the caucus level to the BoT level and then before they brought it to the NEC level,” Shelle explained.
He further described the former chairman as a ‘good man’ who had strong convictions in his beliefs but concerning all the issues which led to his resignation, “age was not on his side.”
Mr Shelle who was present at the NEC meeting, where the decision was reached, told Channels Television while speaking on Sunrise Daily that the decision of the PDP leadership was an agreed one.
He added that the former Chairman was not forced into resigning as there were several consultations and meetings at different levels of the organisation. State Chairmen of the Party had also stated that the Chairman should step down in the interest of the party
“When your soldiers are no longer behind you, definitely you would know that the time is up.”
He added that “I wouldn’t blame him. He had a personal conviction that he was doing the right thing but we thought otherwise because we were losing members.”
“Alhaji Bamanga Turkur is a good man. He has enormous wisdom, He has dexterity. He has seen it all..
“He felt certain people were digging deep to cause mayhem in the party so he maintained his personal belief… but later all of us realized that his approach was not healthy.”
Shelle also addressed former members of the party who joined the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to return as the APC does not present them the best ‘environment.’ According to the politician, it is likely that the decampees would return “because the opposition party is not the best environment for them.”
“The best option for them now is to retrace their steps,” he stated, adding that “APC has not redefined itself and has not given enough reasons for people to join them.”
On the alleged battle of wills between the former Chairman and the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, who was among the five governors that decamped to the APC, Mr Shelle said “they have one grouse or the other with each other.”
“When we newly came in, the first problem we had was that the EXCO of Adamawa was not properly constituted” and “the Chairman took a unilateral decision without carrying the National Working Committee along.”
He expressed belief that the PDP would be stronger than it was. “We have learnt our lessons of redefining our goals, working together as a team and focusing on the development of the nation,” he noted.