Apparently trying to ward off criticisms over his choice of Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, President Goodluck Jonathan has advanced reasons why he prefers the former governor of the old Gongola State to other contenders for the top post.
Speaking through his special adviser on political affairs, Mr. Ahmed Ali Gulak, President Jonathan said that Tukur possesses unassailable credentials that stand him shoulders above his contenders and was well known across the world.
The president pointed out that apart from being a renowned technocrat and business icon, Tukur is also a highly detribalied Nigerian leader who enjoys national appeal and can be trusted with public assignments.
Gulak said, “Bamanga Tukur is a highly detribalized man whose acceptance cuts across Nigeria.
He is also the president of the African Roundtable Business Forum and he is well known all over the world.
“That is the kind of man that the PDP needs at this point in time to be able to drive its agenda, and once his name is mentioned it commands the right kind of respect and integrity needed to bring respect to the country and its people.
“This is the type of man we want to lead the party so that he can put everybody together, including the president. He can show us the way to go with his fatherly counsel and we will respect his opinion.
On the criticism of the president for not taking drastic action to deal with the rising security threat in the land, Gulak made it clear that President Jonathan would not deploy military might to crush the Boko Haram sect, to avoid killing innocent civilians as was done by previous governments in Odi, Zaki Biam and Maiduguri.
He said, “Our president is a person who believes in the rule of law. Investigations must be thoroughly carried out to determine the perpetrators of the criminal acts and the suspects presented before a competent court of law where justice will take its course.
“So when some people say the government is very slow, I believe they are talking out of ignorance of democracy and constitutional government.”
Gulak, a lawyer, also said that it was not compulsory for Jonathan to comply with all the resolutions of the National Assembly, as they were merely persuasive and not binding on the presidency.
“Yes, they are persuasive and not binding. They are not laws; you must differentiate between a law and a resolution.
"The National Assembly is an arm of government and the executive is another arm of government. The National Assembly is a pillar of democracy.
But they have their constitutional role to play, which are oversight functions and legal authority to make laws for this country, and they also pass resolutions which are persuasive. If they are acceptable, the president will accept them,” he said.
The special adviser also described the recent meeting of northern leaders in Minna to find answers to the problems in the region as self-indictment, accusing the leaders of doing nothing to change the fortune of the area when they had the opportunity to do so.