The Chairman of the Northern Elders’ Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has berated some members of the Peoples Democratic Party for openly criticising the party’s zoning arrangement.
Yakasai, while reacting to the ongoing controversy in the PDP over the zoning of its office of the national chairman to the North-East, described the actions of the aggrieved party members, including former ministers, as “divisive.”
Speaking in a telephone interview on Sunday, the elder statesman and a former Political Adviser to ex-President Shehu Shagari, said even though he was not a member of the PDP, he felt concerned about the issues affecting it as a “strong supporter.”
Some aggrieved former ministers, who served under the PDP, had earlier noted that any attempt by the party’s National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, to consolidate his position at its May 21 convention would spell doom for the party.
Yakasai, however, advised such aggrieved PDP members to take their grievances to the appropriate organs of the party rather than expressing their anger in the print media.
He also urged them to work harder in their states to ensure that the party did well in the next general elections.
“My honest opinion is that the moves are divisive,” he said.
“The correct approach is to go to the proper organ of the party. Every individual in a democracy is entitled to his opinion but you cannot decide the fate of anybody on the basis of allegations by individuals.
“Anybody who feels strongly about the various allegations against Sheriff, which have not been proven by the court of law, can go and argue his matter before the National Executive Committee and the convention and if the delegates at the convention accepts his argument, then so be it. But you can’t decide the fate of a political party through a press conference.
“I’m particularly unhappy with the statement credited to some former ministers, who are criticising former President Goodluck Jonathan for supporting the zoning arrangement of the party. Jonathan, until a new leader is produced, is the leader of the PDP and has the credentials to speak on behalf of the party.”