By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
One of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirants and former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alain Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, has warned that Nigerians must not allow anybody to truncate the country’s democracy whose foundation was consciously and deliberately laid with the sweat and blood of people.
He gave the warning in Calabar on Monday, while addressing the Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, members of the state’s executive council and some leaders, as part of his nationwide consultations to actualize his presidential aspiration.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria lampooned the APC-controlled government for behaviors that are antithetical to democratic norms.
He cited the recent attack on the National Assembly (legislature) which is the symbol of democracy globally, and the commando-styled arrests of judges for unsubstantiated allegations of corruption which had left the victims humiliated and traumatized, while their reputation had also been lowered in the estimation of right-thinking citizens.
Turaki, according to a press statement by Sola Atere, Director Media and Publicity of his Presidential Campaign Organization, lamented also that law and order had broken down with the attendant lack of peace in the country, noting that: “where there is no peace, we won’t have development.”
He further decried the lack of capacity by the APC to address the current security problems, the party’s cluelessness in handling the economy and the enthronement of open discrimination against the citizens by government, as well as the pervading mistrust which had triggered a heightened agitation for ethnic self-determination.
According to him, “Nigerians and other opposition political parties are waiting for PDP,” he said, “to take up the mandate of spearheading a rescue mission for the people.”
He therefore urged the PDP to elect the best out of its eminently-qualified aspirants seeking the party’s mandate.
Turaki counseled: “We need a person with no perception of corruption- a person with integrity, credibility, knowledge,education, dynamism, experience and the fear of God. Such a person must exude trust among the people and be courageous in taking decisions in the overall interest of the nation.”
He promised that if given the opportunity, his government will be faithful and honest to Nigerians, build critical infrastructure, revamp the economy and also address youth unemployment and the principle of restructuring holistically.
Governor Ayade who noted that the greatest asset of a nation is the quantum of knowledge it can boast of and not its resources, praised Turaki for having a grasp of ‘the dialectics and connectivity with the nation’s problems and the required solutions.’
“I have no doubt in my mind that you will deliver,” the governor informed Turaki.
The governor who also outlined numerous achievements by his administration in terms of development further highlighted some challenges which required the intervention of the federal government.
These included the removal of Cross River State from the Derivation Principle leading to insufficient revenue, the security problems posed by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Cameroon and other issues associated with those seeking self-determination in that country.
The presidential aspirant extended his consultations to the secretariat of the state PDP chapter whose chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok Edim described him as “a very, very outstanding person.”