These are not the best of times for
the embattled national chairman of the
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji
Adamu Muazu. Since PDP woefully lost
the presidential election and majority
seats in the National Assembly for
the first time since 1999, Muazu has
been receiving heavy bashing from
all directions. Even his nickname has
been changed from “Game Changer” to
“Game Spoiler” by aggrieved members
of the party who are yet to come to terms
with what befell the party that once
boasted that it will rule Nigeria for the
next 60 years.
Muazu’s woes was compounded by
the outcome of the April 11 governorship
and House of Assembly elections which
saw PDP losing the election in several
states that were hitherto PDP strongholds
since 1999. Muazu even lost out, from
his ward to his local government and to
the state level in Bauchi which has been
under the control of PDP in the past 16
years.
Following the outcome of the election,
several members of the PDP, including
leaders of the party in the South West
led by Chief Bode George, called for
the resignation of Muazu and other
members of the party’s National
Working Committee, NWC. But Muazu
appears to be unperturbed by the gale of
protest against his continued leadership of the party. Reports had it that
PDP governors are among those
calling on Muazu to quit the
state to enable more competent
hand to drive the reinvention of
the party.
Rather than quit the stage, the
NWC members led by Muazu
started trading blames on why
the party lost and pointed
accusing fingers in the direction
of aides and close associates of
President Goodluck Jonathan
and PDP Presidential Campaign
organisation.
Muazu’s attempt to exonerate
himself from the misfortune
that befell PDP obviously
infuriated legion of PDP
members, including the Ekiti
state governor, Ayodele Fayose,
who is known to speak his mind
no matter whose ox is gored.
Fayose joined the fray in calling
for the resignation of Muazu
after the NWC berated him
for hosting the meeting of the
South West leaders where the
resolution for the resignation of
the NWC was taken.
In response to Fayose’s
support for the resignation
of Muazu and the NWC, the
embattled NWC came up with
subtle blackmail where they
alleged that they played key
role in the emergence of Fayose
as PDP governorship candidate
in Ekiti; and the fact that they
doled out N300million to assist
him to prosecute his election.
According to the PDP
Spokesman, Olisa Metuh,
when some stakeholders in the
state had asked for Fayose’s
disqualification from the party’s
governorship primaries last
year, the present leadership
stood its grounds and helped
him to power, adding that
paying back by asking for
the resignation of the same
leadership, was unfortunate
and a total disappointment.
Speaking with Journalists,
Metuh expressed the
disappointment of the NWC in
Governor Fayose’s action saying;
“At a stage, some stakeholders
in the state wanted him to be
excluded from partaking in the
party primaries, but we in the
NWC stood our ground that
due process must be allowed,
through our internal democracy,
he eventually won the ticket
and we mobilised funds for his
election. We give glory to God,
he won the election.”
On May 5 Fayose countered
the claims of the NWC through
his Special Assistant on Public
Communication and News
Media, Lere Olayinka, and
accused the PDP National
Chairman of conniving with the
opposition at the last general
election.
Fayose wondered why PDP
heavyweights like Muazu and
Governor Isa Yuguda failed
to deliver their home state of
Bauchi to the party despite the
enormous resources at their
disposal.
He argued that Muazu must
quit his position as the National
Chairman on account of the
crushing defeat suffered by the
party at the general election,
likening the party chairman
to a war commander who lost
a battle and must give way to
another commander.
While demanding evidence
of the funds the national
leadership of the party claimed
he collected, the governor said
he only received N30 million for
last general election which he
delivered to the party.
Fayose maintained that his
demand for Muazu and others’
resignation was done in good
faith and in the overall interest
of the party saying, “I have
no apology on my position
on the NWC because their
responsibility as a party does
not take away their failure in the
last general election.”
The logjam took a dramatic
turn when Muazu even went as
far as saying that PDP will be
buried if he resigns.
Muazu, who spoke through
his Special Adviser on Media,
Mr. Tony Amadi, said that he
would not resign despite the
threat of some members to form
a faction of the party.
To Fayose, Muazu’s
submission that PDP will be
buried if he resigns was the
biggest joke of the century as he
alluded to the fact that Muazu
has completely lost whatever
electoral value he had in the
past.
According to Fayose, “The
PDP cannot break under any
circumstance; Secondly, Muazu,
as chairman or not, cannot and
will not break the PDP. Muazu
is not a force enough to break
PDP.”
Fayose added that Muazu did
not have the clout to break the
PDP, adding that, if he (Mu’azu)
ceased to be the chairman, the
party would not die. “How
can a man who cannot win his
ward, local government and
state say the PDP will be buried
if he resigns?” he asked.
Worried by the media
war among PDP members,
President Jonathan last week
directed them to stop the blame
game and cease all hostilities
and stop distracting the leaders
of the party from the task of
reassessing and rebuilding
the party. But the plea by the
President was ignored by
Muazu and Fayose as they took
their battle to the social network
through their Twitter handles to
tackle each other over the defeat
of President Goodluck Jonathan
in the March 28 election.
Prior to the presidential
directive, Fayose had claimed
that he had evidence that
Muazu connived with the APC
to ensure the defeat of Jonathan
at the polls and went ahead to
ask Mu’azu to resign.
But angered by the governor’s
call and claim, the PDP
Chairman dared Fayose,
to provide evidence of the
allegations he (Fayose) levelled
against him. Muazu insisted that
it was the hate campaign which
Fayose targeted at Buhari that
cost Jonathan the Presidency.
While daring Fayose to
provide the evidence, he said,
“Fayose said he has evidence
that I, Muazu, worked for the
APC. I hope it is not the kind
of evidence he once said he had
that Buhari was dying.”
Muazu said he repeatedly
warned members of the PDP to
run an issue-based campaign
but overzealous supporters
of Jonathan opted for hate
campaign against Buhari.
The PDP chairman said, “You
will all recall that I warned
members of our presidential
campaign organisation to stop
the hate campaign. I challenge
Governor Fayose to come
out with evidence that shows
that I, the national chairman,
worked for the APC during the
elections.”
Muazu said it was unfortunate
that Fayose was the one leading
the call for his removal.
However, Fayose, while also
reacting on Twitter berated
Muazu for openly criticising
him. The governor said it was
ironic that Muazu, who never
attacked the APC during the
campaigns, could be exchanging
words with him on Twitter.
He said, “Disloyalty: A leader
who takes to Twitter to slight a
party member but never did the
same with or to the opponent.
God sees our hearts.”
Taking up the Muazu’s
challenge on how he sold
out PDP to the APC, Fayose
opened up for the first time
in a television programme on
how Muazu had secret meeting
with APC national leader, Bola
Ahmed Tinubu prior to the 2015
general election that saw to the
defeat of the ruling party.
Fayose revealed; “There
was a day I visited the party
Chairman, shortly before my
election, he was to see me and
other people for one or two
things, I waited for five hours,
after such a long wait, he came
and said to us, please I want
you guys to give me space,
particularly the Yoruba people
here, I am expecting somebody
who doesn’t want to meet a
Yoruba man.
“I left his house, and behold I
came back to know who came
and it was the All Progressives
Congress, APC, leader Asiwaju
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that’s the
truth. When I inquired, he told
me himself that it was Ahmed
Tinubu that came. I almost lost
my breath.
Fayose continues: “Another
instance was that our National
Chairman left Nigeria on the
day of the presidential election.
Even the day names were to
be submitted to Independent
National Election Commission,
INEC, our national Chairman
was on his way to Singapore.
“The President himself did
not know that our national
Chairman was on his way to
Singapore.
“I was concerned because my
election was five days away, the
issue here is very clear; when
the head is sick the whole body
is sick”
Governor Fayose maintained
that it was morally right for
Mu’azu to resign, “It is not
personal. It is just morally right
for Mu’azu to resign, if you lead
a party in Government to such
major defeat you have to resign.
It’s not personal.”
The outcome of the British
election gave Fayose another
justification for his call for the
resignation of Muazu. After
losing the election conducted
last week, British Labour Party
leader, Ed Miliband, and that of
Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg,
threw in the towel to pave
way for new leadership of the
parties.
Fayose, said Muazu should be
honourable enough to follow
the same path as the British LP
and Democrats leaders.
“Muazu’s case is even
worse than that of the British
party leaders, who resigned
immediately their party lost
because majority of PDP
members no longer have
confidence in his (Muazu)
leadership and there is no way
a willing leader can be forced on
an unwilling followers.”
“This is not about any
personality and I am also
not operating here on empty
boast because Ekiti State was
delivered to the PDP 100
percent.
“Rather, it is about issues.
Imagine the PDP not getting
up to five percent of the votes
in Bauchi State, the National
Chairman’s home state; and
he is still not being honourable
enough to resign.
“Haven’t we now seen what
operates in saner climes with
the resignation of the British
LP and Democrat leaders?
Shouldn’t our party National
Chairman also take a cue from
this and allow for fresh minds to
steer the ship of the party at this
difficult time?.
“Leaders in this country
should learn from their
counterparts in other climes
because like I said earlier,
when a war commander leads
his troop to an embarrassing
defeat, such commander does
not need anyone to tell him that
he needs to leave the war front
for another commander to take
over.”
Watchers of the unfolding
drama in Wadata house national
secretariat of the PDP are of the
opinion that the face-off between
Muazu and other members of
the party, Fayose inclusive, is
not in the best interest of the
party. The election has come and
gone and dissipating energy
trading blames cannot reverse
the outcome of the election. PDP
should concentrate in assessing
what led it to where it is today
to forestall falling in same pitch
in subsequent elections.
Howerver, political observers
are of the view that Muazu
must show leadership by
accepting responsibility for
woeful performance of PDP
during the general election and
for negatively changing the
game against PDP. If necessary
he has to resign as is the culture
in advanced democracies.
As the national chairman of
the party the buck stops at
his table. Trading blame or
looking for scapegoats is not an
honorable option and Muazu
should do the needful to allow
PDP commence rebuilding of
the party in earnest. There is
a strong rumour within PDP
circle that Muazu had a secret
deal with some vested interest
outside the party to cause crisis
within the national leadership
of the party which will give
leeway to those elected on the
platform of the party to defect
to the APC. The onus is on him
to prove his critics wrong by
bowing out in the interest of the
party. Also, Fayose and other
PDP members should learn to
respect the President who has
directed members of the party
to stop the blame game and
media war. Their energy should
be channeled to pulling the
party from the brink of collapse.
Luckily PDP still has its spread
in every electoral ward in the
country and if all hands are on
deck it is possible for the party
to bounce back and upstage the
APC in 2019. The time to start
rebuilding the behemoth called
PDP is now.


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