Five days after he was forced to resign, the immediate past National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said he went through hell trying to run the party.
He spoke when some Muslim clerics paid him a solidarity visit at the weekend at his Wuse 2 Abuja residence.
Tukur said but for the doggedness of President Goodluck Jonathan and the wisdom he displayed in managing the affairs of PDP, the party would have long collapsed, given what he described as ‘evil plots’ by certain members to completely destroy the party.
He also hinted of the expected qualities of his successor, ahead of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that would elect his successor. Some of the qualities, according to him, include being fearless, consistent and focused, because he passed through difficult times while in office.
Tukur, who told the clerics that he made a huge sacrifice by resigning from office, also expressed regrets that some members of the PDP preferred the party to be run with the mentality of business as usual, because, according to him, such members were utterly opposed to any form of change he tried to introduce in running the party.
The former PDP Chairman, who restated his loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan and his government, pledged his unalloyed support to the president and the PDP.
He explained that he was proud of all the decisions he took to reform the party, in order to deepen democracy and make Nigeria raise its head in the comity of great nations.
The former national chairman urged the clerics to continue praying for President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP to overcome what he referred to as their trying moments.
According to him, he found it unbelievable to discover that some stakeholders of the party never had the interest of PDP or Nigeria at heart.
He explained that personal ambitions, crave for sudden wealth and unimaginable level of treachery usually got the full attention of such stakeholders than anything else.
“I did my best to bring PDP to good standard and international best practices on politics. I came in with the mind-set to reform the party by promoting the principle of election instead of selection and the idea of consensus instead of imposition.
“Alas, I was proved wrong by those who believed that the old order in PDP must be retained, not for any good thing, but for their selfish interests.
“Some members got so desperate that they turned to the media and funded all negative reports against me. If you are familiar with all the negative media reports, none attributed any wrong doing to me. The reports only echoed the views of the sponsors that I was unbending in my desire to change the bad situation in PDP.
“They even attempted to use the media to get me in confrontation with Mr. President. I never spoke to anyone about issues, yet the media would attribute some reports to me. But we knew those who were behind it all. They had forgotten that what ever goes round surely must come round.
“To put me on the spot, they sponsored another report that governorship aspirants were buying me bullet-proof jeeps so that I can give them governorship slot in their states. How could I do such a thing, when indeed, I was the one advocating change in PDP. I waged war against the idea of imposition or selection of candidates for elections in our party,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former Chairman has hinted that he would accept the “tougher job” promised him by President Jonathan last week..