From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
Former deputy national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and member of the party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun has declared that both former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar deserved the flaks they were getting from Nasir el-Rufai. Oyedokun stated this yesterday as Atiku’s aides and ex-minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai sustained their exchange of diatribe in the media over what allegedly transpired during Obasanjo’s administration.
Former director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE) who later became FCT minister under Obasanjo administration in his controversial book, “The Accidental Public Servant,” had exposed how the privatization exercise was mismanaged. He claimed he was persistently under pressure from the former Vice-President who tried to influence the BPE decisions on sales of State-owned corporations.
The former minister also detailed how the ex-president actually pushed for tenure elongation, using his foot soldiers, in spite of his pretence and public denials. In an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, Chief Oyedokun submitted that both Chief Obasanjo and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku, spurned the advice of well-meaning PDP elders to be wary of the technocrats in their cabinet. Oyedokun who singled out the Finance minister under Obasanjo who is now Finance and Coordinating Minister in the present federal cabinet, Professor Okonjo Iweala as exception, noted that the technocrats created havoc for the government they served and the party.
“I believe that we in the system have been doing the party much more harm than good by concentrating on the choice and appointment of technocrats from outside the party. “You may have some experts you must have some roles they have to play. I am not against the inclusion of certain individuals who are experts like Okonjo Iweala, who was logged in legitimately and usefully too. “But a situation where we go outside the party and bring in alien people, who have no link whatsoever with the grassroots party people is bad. I don’t know how their service delivery would be beneficial to their constituencies, to the government and even to the people of Nigeria.
“In fact, it is grossly a disservice to the party. A situation where you bring people who are non-committal to the party, immediately they leave, you must have sharpened their teeth and they will use that teeth to bite you. And that’s what has been happening. “Examples now abound. Look at people writing books to destroy people who brought them into government. Look at people, who benefited from the platform. They were wearing ordinary slippers even before they came to government and made ministers.
Today they are going out flamboyantly to destroy the party, to destroy people who brought them in. It is very immoral and I think the party should look into this very seriously.” On the crises facing the party, Oyedokun expressed hope in the capacity of both the party’s national working committee under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the Board of Trustees under Chief Tony Anenih to resolve the impasse. “You can also see the peace-move being made by BoT Chairman, Chief Anenih. You see, it has been a departure from the practice of the past, when leaders would sit down within the comfort of their homes and say, look, “let us talk to you, what is happening there?”
He is now leading a team, visiting the governors and across the relevant sectors of the party, to talk to them, know their grievances and find ways and means of bringing everybody together.” Chief Oyedokun also denied that there was disaffection between the two organs of the party over Chief Anenih’s recent visits to PDP governors, which the party national working committee views as usurpation of its function.
“Well, the Board of Trustees is the conscience of the party. If you agree, like you have pointed out that there were certain shortcomings in the chairman tour, then it is the conscience of the party now that should go round and find out what is happening. So, by the time it comes up with its report, all will be harmonized and it will be better for the party. So, they aren’t competitive in any form. Rather, they are complementary.” (Full interview tomorrow)