Tukur announced the decision on Tuesday at the BMT African Garden, Abuja, in his address at a lecture entitled: “Enhancing Capacity Development For a Sustainable Regional Integration In Africa: Making The Dream a Reality,” as part of activities marking his 80th birthday.
In the address entitled: “The Historical Background And Realities of My Earthly Sojourn, So Far”, Tukur said, “I deem it fit to use this opportunity of my 80th birthday celebration to announce my retirement from partisan politics.
“It is time to say goodbye to formal politics. I have used several political platforms to serve my country. It is time to rest,” he said.
The former PDP national chairman said he was leaving partisan politics for the younger generation, and that he wanted to be a statesman and an adviser.
“At the age of 80, I feel I can serve our dear nation more in the capacity of a statesman and father figure,” he said.
He, however, said his doors were open to all politicians, businessmen, business women, “and all Nigerians who may seek my advice or opinion on any issue affecting our country or beyond’’.
Tukur enjoined politicians to “play the game according to the rules” and to put the interest of the nation at heart.
In his lecture, Dr Toga McIntosh, Vice President, ECOWAS Commission, said over the last two decades or so, the socio-economic gap between the developed region and Africa had “progressively widened”.
McIntosh identified weaknesses in effective planning, developing and utilising requisite African capacities, and “our uncoordinated approach to push from within, in a concerted way” among the factors responsible for the situation.
…PDP felicitates with Tukur
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described its former national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as a ‘’quintessential democrat and humble statesman’’ who has contributed immensely to the development and stability of Nigeria.
In a statement congratulating Tukur on his 80th birthday on Tuesday, Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, said the party remained proud that the octogenarian had made indelible marks in business and politics.
Metuh said the party remained grateful to Tukur, a founding member of PDP, for his leadership roles and sustained selfless contributions since the formation of the party.
Quoting the Acting National Chairman of PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, Metuh said: “Indeed, we give thanks to the Almighty God, who in his benevolence, has kept you in good health and sound mind.
‘’This is so as you continue in your selfless service to mankind and our dear fatherland.
“The PDP family is ever grateful to you for your numerous sacrifices and contributions to our great party, where you remain a fountain of inspiration to many.
“Despite your towering attainments as a global statesman in business and politics, you have kept faith as an epitome of hard work, honesty, humility and service.’’
The statement commended the qualities with which Tukur immensely impacted on PDP during his tenure as the national chairman.
“As we join family members, friends, associates and all well-wishers to mark this auspicious day with you, we pray that God continues to bless you with good health and many more years.
“This is important so that the nation and mankind will continue to benefit from your wealth of wisdom and experience,” it said.
The party, however, urged younger generation of leaders to emulate Tukur’s humility, honesty, sense of duty and dedication to the national interest.