By Prince Oliver Okpala
It is said that a prophet is with honour except in his own home. This axiom was put to question recently at Yola, Adamawa State when the erstwhile National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was hosted to a civic reception by the Adamawa State chapter of the PDP.
The people of Adamawa turned out in their hundreds of thousands to accord a warm and tumultuous welcome to their highly esteemed son. An unprecedented crowd and sea of heads lined all the roads to welcome.
The rousing reception marked a glorious home-coming, a re-union of sorts and a triumphant entry into Adamawa by one of the greatest sons of the state and also one of the greatest gifts of nature to Nigeria.
The arrangement had been that only the State Executive members of the PDP and eminent stake-holders will be at the airport in Yola to receive Tukur before the reception proper, but the crowd of supporters, party members and admirers of the former PDP National Chairman refused to heed the directive and thronged the airport to receive their son and express their appreciation for his many years of selfless service to Adamawa and Nigeria.
All the roads leading to the airport was filled to capacity by gorgeously dressed men and women. The crowd of supporters cut across ages and groups.
At the reception proper, the people of Adamawa paid glowing tribute to their illustrious son. It became apparent that Tukur was deeply attached to his people and his home state, inspite of his many years of sojourn outside Adamawa either as a politician, a public office holder, a business tycoon or in the service of the nation. This event showed in clear terms that he never lost sight of his root.
He loves his people and his people love him. This symbiotic association played out significantly at the reception proper. From what happened at the ceremony, it goes without saying that Adamawa is a PDP state.
The reception is a window to what the future holds for Governor Murtala Nyako and his cohorts in the APC in Adamawa come 2015.
Tukur is no doubt one of the vanishing species of nationalism in the iron support of the Nigerian project. He is a blessing to Adamawa and Nigeria.
He believes in republican democracy, participatory democracy, party discipline and internal party democracy. These were the anchor points of his tenure as PDP National Chairman.
Tukur is a bridge-builder and an unrepentant democrat who believes in election rather than selection and a thorough disciplinarian.
*Okpala is a political analyst