By Chris Ochayi


HE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has urged Christians across the country to ignore statements by the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for castigating the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

From left: Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter-religious Council (Nirec), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; National Co-ordinator/executive Secretary, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, and Co-Chairman, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, at a meeting of NIREC with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. NAN Photo

According to PDP, rather than tongue lash the PDP and its leadership, the party must not only be hailed, but should be emulated by other political parties and organizations whose activities connect directly or indirectly to the unity of the nation.In a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh  Friday  in Abuja, the party noted that the CAN President got what it termed the harmless statement of the party’s National Chairman wrong.

It would be recalled that when the PDP National Chairman,  Alhaji Bamanga Tukur received a delegation of Gombe state PDP led by the governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo to the Wadata Plaza last week, had said that the Boko Haram activities that have led to loss of lives and property destroyed was a reaction to injustice.

According to Tukur, Boko Haram was another name for injustice by those people who may have been deprived, just as he called on Governors of the North East to create employment for the youths in the area as a way of reducing the level of insecurity in the zone, adding that the youths will continue to agitate for one thing or the other, once they are hungry.

He stated that youth restiveness were primarily hunger-induced, just as he urged the governors to find a lasting solution to this major problem.

While reacting to Tukur’s statement Thursday, CAN president, Oritsejafor described the PDP National Chairman as spokesperson of the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram.

Metuh’s statement read in part, ‘’The Party’s membership of millions of Nigerians who are Muslims and who are also Christians, Dr. Tukur is a father who can ill ford to give in to discrimination of any form.

“There is abundant evidence that the issue of religious divisiveness in the manner the CAN President has interpreted our National Chairman, is non-existent in our great Party.

In both the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC), the PDP has amply illustrated that Christians and Muslims can work together for the greatness of Nigeria. We therefore expect that we not only be commended but emulated by other political Parties and organizations whose activities connect directly or indirectly to the unity of the nation.”

“We therefore urge Christians to disregard any misinterpretation of the statement of our National Chairman and continue to live in peace with their Muslim brothers.”

‘’The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as a contextual misinterpretation of relevant facts, the remark by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on the harmless statement by the PDP National chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur on Boko Haram and peace in Northern Nigeria.

‘’Dr. Tukur is a foremost Nigerian who in words and actions has shown himself a true patriot that cannot be conceived in the mould of ethnic or religious bigotry.

“Over the decades, he has built bridges of friendship across religions and regions of Nigeria, etching his name as an African statesman. It is on record also, that since he was elected the National Chairman of our great Party, his message has been consistent on the imperative of unity, equity and justice for every Nigerian.

“He has never hidden his resolve and determination to use the historic opportunity offered by his leadership of the nation’s ruling Party to champion the ideals of the founding fathers of Nigeria that irrespective of our tongue , tribe and creed, Nigerians are one and that our diversity is our greatest strength.

“He has spared no effort in deploring the incidence of violence in the Northern part of the country. He has stated in no uncertain terms that no reason can justify terror attacks. But he has also charged that those involved in the violence and their sponsors are our brothers, and there is therefore a need for our collective efforts”.


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