Monday Ateboh/Premium Times
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party has criticized former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, over a statement credited to him condemning the processes leading to the election of Bamanga Tukur as its national chairman.
The party also accused Mr. Babangida of anti-party conduct for “donating” his media assistant, Kazeem Afegbua, to the campaign organisation of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Spokesperson for the party, Olisa Metuh, said in a terse statement a while ago that Mr. Babangida was unpresidential in his comment, failing to display maturity and decorum in claims he made about the party’s recent national convention.
“The statement credited to the former president is surprising because known tradition the world over is for former presidents to tow the path of maturity and decorum in criticisms of perceived lapses of the incumbents,” the statement said.
“We know of George Bush Jnr. and President Obama and we also know of Tony Blair and Prime Minister Cameron.”
Mr. Babangida’s spokesperson, Mr. Afegbua, had, in a report in the National Mirror newspaper, made some uncomplimentary remarks about the party and its convention, including a criticism of the consensus option through which Mr. Tukur emerged the national leader of the party.
Mr. Metuh said the comments were “an embarrassment on the person of the former President of Nigeria for his media spokesperson to recourse to a recipe of media relations that subsists on public acrimony and less noble language.”
He continued, “We must state for the avoidance of doubt that, that there is nothing wrong in the electoral consensus option through which our national Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Turkur, emerged that constitutes an inhibition in the effective discharge of his functions as the National Chairman of our Party.
“That other aspirants, having noted the likely trend of voting, decided on their own to withdraw from the race and support an aspirant does not translate to incapacity on the part of the consensus candidate.”
The statement added that Mr. Babangida himself had, in the run up to the 2011 presidential primaries of the PDP, wholeheartedly subjected himself to the then Northern Presidential Consensus arrangement in which Atiku Abubakar emerged, indicating his love for consensus arrangement.
The party added, “We do not intend to descend to the gutter as Afegbua has been doing because we still hold the former President in high esteem. However, we must state that for a leader in our party to engage a loose cannon as his media assistant, care must be taken to restrain him from injury to party loyalty.”
“In the same essence, we wish to put on record that if our respected Party leader has donated his Spokesman to the Action Congress of Nigeria gubernatorial campaign in Edo State, it is not a lesson in loyalty and Party building.”