Though President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to his All Progressives Congress, APC rival, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), ahead of the conclusion of the collation and release of results of the 2015 presidential election, it does not remove from the fact that there are many of the President’s party men who worked against his success at the poll.
There were many too, who pretended to be believers in the President’s second term bid. There are also others who though were not members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, played roles that actively or remotely underscored them as people who saw Jonathan’s second term in office as inimical to their interests. Then of course, there were others who were just merchants cum political contractors whose sole interest was to “make the money as fast as possible even at the detriment of the Jonathan’s ambition.”
Nigerian Pilot has spent the last several weeks combing the political terrain, asking questions and getting answers, including drawing telling inferences there from. The excerpts by MIKE ODIAKOSE, OKECHUKWU JOMBO, IBRAHIM MOHAMMED, FRED EZEH, IORAKPEN ISHU-JOSEF, PETER USMAN AND SIMPLICIUS UBAH are the beginning of the postmortem of the 2015 General Elections.
He is the National Chairman of the President’s Party, PDP. He assumed office under very controversial circumstances, no thanks to the benevolence of President Goodluck Jonathan. But since he assumed duty, Mu’azu’s body language never suggested the required zeal and zest the party’s chief mobiliser should possess. He went further to manifest same in the critical electioneering days, giving impetus to speculations that he was a mole in the party whose heart was with the APC.
Though he claimed to be the “game changer”, many PDP members now wonder if Mu’azu did not really lead the party to change its fortunes.
“He never shared in the Jonathan second term dream. He remained committed to the northern elders’ agenda of winning the presidential poll. It showed all over him. Did you hear him campaign against APC and Buhari throughout the period. He was just there just like that,” said a serving minister in the Jonathan cabinet.
Though he allegedly threatened to resign from office, nothing came out of that threat. Besides, not a few leaders of the party including state governors hold the foregoing view. They hold same against most members of PDP’s National Working Committee, NWC.
According to reports gathered by Nigerian Pilot, the NWC members played key role in the failure of PDP in the following ways:
. Mu’azu never went the extra mile to ensure Jonathan wins, even in his own ward as reports had it that he never displayed Jonathan’s posters anywhere near his home. Even some PDP youth groups that visited Bauchi on sensitisation were given cold reception by Mu’azu when they met him in Bauchi.
. During the governorship primaries they denied PDP members their choice candidates after allegedly collecting money from the aspirants they sold the tickets to. “This was why PDP lost some of its strongholds like Adamawa, Plateau, Niger, Bauchi, among others,” recalled one PDP senator.
. Because they took it for granted that PDP will rule for 60 years, they did not give close marking to the largely alleged unholy alliance between the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and APC. “APC infiltrated INEC to the extent that some of the commission’s members of staff in charge of distribution of PVCs were on the opposition party’s payroll,” said an aggrieved state governor in the North Central geopolitical zone.
One INEC contractor that was given the production of PVCs is a known anti-Jonathan element and supporter of APC but PDP NWC did not do their homework to find out what was happening in INEC until it was too late.
PDP NWC under Mu’azu’s leadership did not take adequate measures to market the achievements of Jonathan. The members led by Mu’azu were busy sourcing for and executing political contracts even when such undermined the collective interest in a successful Jonathan second term bid. One South-West leader of the party put it more succinctly: “Amassing wealth and property for themselves, including choice lands in Abuja became their primary role; selfish and shameful, you may say.”
Anyim Pius Anyim
He is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF. But as a key appointee of Jonathan, he played critical roles in the buildup to the elections in terms of appointments to the Campaign Council and such relevant roles. However, many PDP leaders swear that Anyim betrayed his principal, given the contracts he allegedly got from the electoral superintendent, INEC.
Consequently, Anyim became docile, inactive, and aloof to affairs in the Jonathan camp preferring to play the ostrich.
A former PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali is very old and far past his prime for any political mobilisation. Many are still wondering how come Jonathan trusted him for the strategic position he held in the presidential campaign organisation that tried to market Jonathan to the electorate.
However, not a few watchers hold the view that for members of Jonathan’s presidential campaign like Ali, they saw their appointments as “business as usual.”
Said one observer: “It was business as usual and the funds they should have used to reach out to critical stakeholders, opinion leaders and other interest groups ended up in their private pockets. Their cosmetic campaign did not get to the grassroots where the voting took place. They only worked in the first week of February and by this time, APC has already entrenched itself in the states. The huge funds released for the last phase of grassroots mobilisation were a complete waste as the officials, who are already sure APC is unstoppable diverted the funds to their private use.”
No one can really tell what role this supposed PDP leader was to play, especially in the South-West axis of the party while the campaigns lasted. One fact, however, was that he was not effective, never seen and allegedly worked behind the scene to undermine the party and its interests.
A PDP governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi, took to his Face Book page with a series of posts slandering Bode George of colluding with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to ensure PDP’s defeat.
Gbadamosi accused George and other PDP leaders of using the money meant for the party to buy new homes in FESTAC, Ikoyi, Magodo and Maryland. Hear him: “Losers can only lead to failure. Go and enjoy your new houses in Magodo, Ikoyi, FESTAC and Maryland, all bought in election season. You have all worked diligently these last 12 years for Tinubu. You can now retire to your natural political home – APC.”
“Who has been the biggest single beneficiary of Bode George’s incompetence and inability to win? Bola Tinubu. That’s why Bode George must go. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it, where his real loyalty has been this whole time.”
However, in a counter-response, George described Gbadamosi as an irresponsible man who may be suffering from a mental problem. He said: “This little boy who just developed into politics wants to run before he can crawl. Imagine Gbadamosi going on Twitter to say I am a mole. He said I have been working with Tinubu. He must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed or probably came from another planet or something is mentally wrong with him.”
Governor Babangida Aliyu
He is the Governor of Niger State and prides himself in being called the Chief Servant. As chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Aliyu was ostensibly prepared to undermine the Jonathan second term bid.
A master of doublespeak, the governor, who was a frontliner among the Group of Seven, G-7 aggrieved PDP governors that romanced with the APC before he retraced his steps alongside his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido back to PDP.
But given the benefit of hindsight, analysts now believe that Aliyu’s return to PDP was to work from the inside to undermine Jonathan’s bid. Many point to the fact that the governor was “APC in Niger State and PDP in Abuja.” Those who hold this view point to the fact that there was no visible Jonathan campaign poster in his state while the campaigns lasted; a role that the state governor ought to have effectively played.
Governor Sule Lamido
He is the governor of Jigawa State and co-traveller with Governor Aliyu in all their exploits and plots to undermine Jonathan from PDP to APC and back to PDP. He is said to have another grouse against Jonathan; and that is the report that he wanted to be named the President’s running mate in the latter’s second term bid which was denied him.
Buoyed by the angst of his hero and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, the governor opted to work against Jonathan’s re-election.
However, it must be given to Lamido that he is well schooled in the art of political manipulations to the extent that he was able to hoodwink an unsuspecting Jonathan into trusting him to deliver his state and influence same in the North. For example, he visited Jonathan several times, vowing to work for the success of his bid. None of his promises was fulfilled.
Governor Ibrahim Shema
He is the Governor of Katsina State and supposedly an ardent Jonathan supporter. Early in the President’s first term, there was no doubt about his loyalty. But Shema allegedly jumped ship when his scheming to get Jonathan pick him as his running mate in the 2015 rerun bid failed.
He was said to have employed the Governor Aliyu strategy in undermining Jonathan; being APC at home and PDP in Abuja.
Governor Isa Yuguda
He is the governor of Bauchi State. Analysts wonder why Jonathan would trust Yuguda, a well known APC-at-heart politician to deliver his state to him. His antecedents in the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, which fused into the APC and his reach-outs to the APC are well known among PDP leaders.
The stoning incident during Jonathan’s campaign to the state ahead of the election underscores the fact that Yuguda did not do much to forge unity among the members of the PDP in the state. He allegedly allowed divisive politics to prevail that led to the embarrassment during the PDP presidential campaign in the state.
Other PDP Governors in the core North
All the PDP governors from the core North, as well as candidates of PDP for various elective offices did not openly identify with Jonathan during the electioneering. While it is common to see APC candidates juxtaposing Muhammadu Buhari’s pictures in their posters, PDP candidates from the North never did same with Jonathan’s pictures. They tactically avoided any mention of Jonathan and also sold their own candidature as they believe any mention of Jonathan’s name will earn them the wrath of their people.
Ex-IGP Suleiman Abba
He was until last week, the Inspector-General of Police. As the chief policeman, Abba was expected to ensure adequate security and confidence in the electoral process where no molestation, intimidation nor violation of the process in any way must prevail.
But all that was jettisoned for alleged romance with the opposition party while he turned his eyes away from alleged fraud that took place in parts of the country. After the polls too, his overt hobnobbing with the leadership of the incoming ruling party underscored the unprofessional role he caused the police to play during the poll.
Chief Tony Anenih
He is the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT). By that role, he leads the committee of eggheads of the party. They are the conscience of the party in spite of the fact that their role is largely advisory.
Popularly known as “Mr. Fix It”, Anenih could not fix Jonathan’s second term bid this time around. Many party watchers argue that age is no longer friendly to the one-time mass mobiliser.
Others: Prof Rufai Alkali
The case of the Political Adviser to the President may not be correctly described as betrayal but rather that of a round peg in square hole. It is on record that the Political Adviser, who is supposed to be a chief strategist in the presidential campaign, is one politician who has never won any election in his life, apart from when he was nominated to become the National Publicity Secretary of PDP in 2008.
As sitting PDP spokesman he was involved in the ticket for senatorial seat and lost. He contested for the governorship ticket of PDP and lost. Finally, he contested for PDP national chairmanship and lost. He came back to limelight when he was appointed Political Adviser to the President. With his antecedents, what else would anyone expect if not catastrophic outing?
Retired military Generals
Perhaps because of the need to buoy the chances of one of their ilk, non-serving military Generals whom Jonathan had never batted an eyelid to show his benevolence to whenever the need arose chose to back Buhari and his APC.
From Theophilus Danjuma, through Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar to Olusegun Obasanjo, there was an unwritten consensus that Buhari was it. Like the typical soldiers that they remain, they successfully held their plan close to their chests save for the typical Obasanjo persona. The latter made his position very obvious ahead of the poll, while Babangida, who almost made same mistake, dribbled Nigerians to look the other side.
Put together, this community betrayed Jonathan despite their promises to him.