The resignation of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih is seen as a move towards rebuilding the party which has lost its appeal. YUSUF MOHAMMED and OBINNA EZUGWU
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu has finally bowed to pressure to resign from his position as the National Chairman of the crisis ridden party.
The crisis rocking the PDP since it lost the general elections deepened on Wednesday morning when the national chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, tendered his letter of resignation. Also the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih resigned his position to pave way for President Goodluck Jonathan to become the new chairman, according to him.
The PDP has been in disarray since Jonathan lost the Presidential election. There have been accusations and counter accusations by members of the party, which has raised fears about the survival of PDP as a political party.
Muazu was appointed as chairman to restore order to the party after the ouster of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who was seen as being too highhanded by the governors. During his tenure five PDP governors defected to the APC as a result of the crisis in the party, and more governors threatened to dump to party unless Muazu quits. It was after the defection of the governors that President Jonathan succumbed to pressure and persuaded Tukur to resign as the party chairman, but not without a whim per. Tukur challenged his removal in court but lost.
The party was rejuvenated with Muazu’s appointment as many of the PDP governors were at ease with him due to their past relationship when he was the governor of Bauchi State in the class of 1999.
His first mission as the party chairman was to reconcile aggrieved members of the party. He went around trying to persuade the G-5 governors to return back to the fold of PDP, but it was unsuccessful as the train has left the station.
Before the presidential election, Muazu made it clear that he was not happy with the way the party treated its members. During the inauguration of the presidential campaign organization of President Jonathan, Muazu was of the view that there was a lot of injustice in the PDP which was responsible for the defection of several members of the party to the opposition.
Muazu in the presence of Jonathan, Vice President, Namadi Sambo, former PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Ali, governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio and other stakeholders, said, “Mr. President, I want you to discuss with your governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and other elected officials.
“We say that members of the PDP should not be used and dumped again. People leave the party because of lack of equity or injustice.
He further stated that, “A lot of people who left our party did so because of injustice in our party. The party is full of injustice”. In fact, Muazu was nicknamed the ‘game changer’ by party supporters due to the way he restored confidence in the PDP on assumption of office. At least the series of defections stopped, and the party started to work together as one family.
However, Muazu’s statement did not go down well with many party stalwarts. While attacks on the APC and its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari became the past time of PDP chieftains and campaigners, Muazu refused to join in the dirty campaigns against Buhari.
During the presidential campaigns, Muazu was accused of not doing enough for President Jonathan. In the middle of the campaigns, reports circulated that Muazu has resigned as chairman, but it turned out to be false. What actually happened was that Muazu threatened to resign in the heat of the allegations of not doing enough in terms of attacking Buhari like other party leaders.
According to the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, Muazu was guilty of anti-party activities therefore he should resign. He said, “I was shocked to find out that Muazu had a secret meeting with Asiwaju Bola Tiinubu five days to the presidential election. I was with him in his house when he asked me to leave, saying that the guest coming would not like to see any Yoruba person in his house. I left the sitting room for another room. After he had the meeting with the person, he called us back in and apologized, saying that Tinubu was the visitor. I was shocked by that.”
As a result of Muazu’s alleged anti-party activities, Governor Aliyu Babangida of Niger state and his Jigawa state counterpart, Sule Lamido also joined in the call for Muazu’s resignation.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh confirmed the resignation of Mauzu.
Metuh who spoke to journalists at the headquarters of the party at Wadata Plaza, Abuja debunked claims that Muazu resigned due to ant-party activities.
Metuh said. “I can confirm that we have received the resignation of the National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu. I can confirm that the chairman, who had health challenges, stayed on for the primaries, for the campaigns and the elections and after consultations with his family, and in his personal interest, he had decided to resign.
“This party commends him for his services to the party and for his love for the nation. We wish him well. We will not forget him. In line with the constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has taken charge of the affairs of the party as acting national chairman of the party. The constitution does not recognise a vacuum.”
He further stated that the party would be stronger in 2019. He said, “Members shouldn’t be trading blames in the media. I assure you that in a few months time, you will hear a different story. The party will be disciplined.”
A top figure of the PDP in Ebonyi State, Mr. Abia Onyike has described the resignation of the party’s Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as a welcome development, noting that the party needed fresh people that would lead its resurgence.
Mr. Onyike who is the Director of Media and Publicity, Dave Umahi Campaign Organization in a chat with Hallmark insisted that Mu’azu’s decision to stand down as chairman would afford the party an opportunity to recover from defeat and form a strong opposition against APC.
“If he (Mu’azu) resigned, it is a good development for the party; Muazu’s resignation will pave the way for the party to reorganize. New people with fresh ideas need to take over now and rebuild the party so it will be in good shape to function as an effective opposition to the APC. The party really needs to re-strategize and in order to do that; the leadership should be overhauled,” he said.
In a similar vein, Chief Lekan Balogun hailed Muazu’s resignation. In a telephone chat with Hallmark, Chief Balogun, who is a member of PDP board of trustees, told Hallmark that, “it is a welcome development. This is good for democracy. In my opinion, Muazu shouldn’t wait for people to pressurize him before resigning. Even if he did not do anything wrong, it is morally wrong for him to remain as the party’s chairman”.
Asked if he also believes that Muazu worked against his own party, he said, “I won’t be a party to that notion until it has been proven. It has not yet been proven by anyone that Muazu was working for the APC, so I urge members to be mindful of their utterances.”
Efforts to reach Muazu to get his view were unsuccessful. However, political pundits are of the view that Muazu’s resignation would herald a new beginning for the PDP.