When he was brought in as the National Chairman of the PDP, he was knick named the ‘game changer’. In just about a year, he has descended from the Olympian height of a game changer to the abyss of a game destroyer. EMMA ALOZIE looks at how Adamu Muazu ended up being the first national chairman of the party to lead it to a disastrous national election
At the height of the crisis that hit the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the time of Bamangar Tukur as National Chairman, one thing was uppermost in the minds of members of the party; that that cup of crisis should pass over the party.
Tukur was stampeded into resigning to pave way for peace. When he reluctantly threw in the towel, the poisoned chalice fell on Adamu Muazu, former governor of Bauch state. The argument was simple; being a former governor, he would be accepted by the majority of the governors who considered Tukur an outsider and too old to lead a party whose majority of members are post-independent young governors.
President Goodluck Jonathan in his characteristic manner pandered to the overwhelming wishes of the governors, dropping his preferred candidate, Senator Umar Idris from Gombe state and the current minister of transport.
Though, Mua’zu could be said to have inherited a deeply fragmented party, but insiders say he did not do much to heal the wounds of many aggrieved members. He set out to replace the five defected governors. In place of Governor Wamakko of Sokoto, the party got former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, in place of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, the party got former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, but the party never truly replaced them in the true sense of it.
For winning these supposedly prominent politicians of northern extraction, Muazu was given the sobriquet ‘the game changer’. But the question is, did he really change the game?
Then Muazu’s greatest undoing was during the party’s primaries. He took charge with other members of the party’s National Working Committee and according to party insiders, converted the exercise into money spinning venture. Popular candidates were sacrificed on the altar of the highest bidder and the ensuing crisis left the party reeling with incurable bruises.
For instance, serving ministers and staunch members of the party who resigned to pursue their governorship ambition, never made it with the party’s ticket. They were left unaided and this led to two of them resigning from the party. Labaran Maku of Nassarawa state and Dr Samuel Ortom of Benue state left the party in acrimonious circumstances. Curiously, Ortom went over to APC where the party received him with open arms and he won the governorship election.
Adamawa’s primary election was held in Abuja instead of Yola with very unpopular candidates emerging. The party’s governor’s in their various states with the active collaboration with Muazu imposed very unpopular candidates against the warnings of grassroots politicians that it would backfire.
The primaries across the country left the party more divided and management of the crisis was at best shambolic. For instance, the former governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim in a well publicized letter he wrote to the party’s NWC after the Imo state governorship primary pointed out some of these deep divisions and suggested ways of handling them. But the party ignored him.
In fact in a recent television interview by former governor of abia state and a founding member of the party, Orji Uzor Kalu, he aptly captured the posturing of the party when he said the party played God. “The PDP was bound to lose the elections because many people were very greedy. There was impunity; people in the party felt they were mini gods. And when you feel that God Almighty is no longer God and that you are the new God, you are bound to fail and that was what happened. The PDP felt that they could afford anything money could buy.”
He changed the game one way or the other. To the majority of the party members, he changed the game negatively; he destroyed the game.