Mu’azu: Game Changes For The Game Changer
Since the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the presidential and majority of the governorship seats across the country in the just concluded general elections, the centre could no longer hold in the party.
It has been a case of one day, one trouble in the party. Apart from mass defection the party has witnessed since then, the blame game on why the party lost woefully in the polls has continued unabated.
From the governors, Presidency to the party leadership, it has been war of words. Just like in the past, there is no doubt that in the days ahead there will be many casualties in the party.
Many believe that one of the likely casualties in the party soon is its national chairman and former governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
It will be recalled that since 1999 the party had the habit of removing its national chairman unceremoniously and abruptly. That was the shabby treatment they meted to Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Will Mu’azu’s case be different? It is a matter of time.
No doubt Mu’azu became the national chairman of the party at a critical period. Critical in the sense that the party has already been balkanised by intra party crisis and was sitting on a keg of gunpowder before Mu’azu came in. It could be recalled that Mu’azu was drafted in, to take over from Alhaji Bamanga Tukur during the protracted crisis that rocked the party under Tukur’s leadership, which led to the defection of five governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Before becoming the national chairman of the party, Mu’azu was in political oblivion after eight years as governor of Bauchi State. He has lost out completely in power struggle in his state, and national level during President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua’s administration.
He was alleged to have gone into exile for self-protection from the anti-graft agency over alleged corrupt practice while in office. Many were surprised when he was chosen as Tukur’s successor.
Immediately he assumed office, he was nicknamed “the game changer” by his admirers within and outside the party, following his success in luring some aggrieved APC and PDP bigwigs back into the party.
The party’s governorship victory in Ekiti State was attributed to his political sagacity, but the sagacity failed him and his party in Osun State. Political observers believe that the intra-party crisis that rocked the party’s 2015 primaries across the country was a very big minus for the party.
It was different strokes for different folks especially for the state governors who were leaders of the party in the states. Members were aggrieved, but pretended that all was well. They played along as moles in the party. They were sycophantic and hypocritical in speeches and attitude to the detriment of the party’s fortunes.
Despite the several complaints, criticisms, intrigues and ill feelings that trailed the outcome of the party’s primaries across the country, neither the presidency nor the party leadership rose to the challenge. They rather politicised the problems, and played the ostrich ahead of the general elections.
But Mu’azu had complained and warned of impending catastrophe in the party, if urgent measures were not taken to address the intra party crisis ahead of the 2015 polls.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Senator Ahmadu Ali-led PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation in Abuja on January 6, Mu’azu, who received a standing ovation from the guests after his speech, turned to Jonathan and 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.
“Monkey dey work, baboon dey chop. That must stop. This time round, monkey must work and monkey must eat. A lot of people who left (our party) did so because of injustice in our party. The party is full of injustice.
“The membership of the APC, LP, APGA and others are increasing because of this. All these members are from our party. We must find out what is wrong and correct it.”
As soon as he said this, the gathering stood up in applause for him.
Before then, Mu’azu had called on the opposition to limit their campaigns to issues and not religion, tribe and trivial matters.
Responding, President Jonathan told Mu’azu that he was aware that there were issues arising from the PDP primaries. He said while the members of the party must come together to resolve them, he stressed that it must be clear to all that there must always be losers.
The President added that there were other political offices which, according to him, were available during and after elections.
He appealed to PDP governors to unite in ensuring that the party won the general elections.
It was disclosed that at the peak of the presidential campaign, Mu’azu confronted President Jonathan and complained of the implications of the hate campaign being spearheaded by the trio of Dame Patience Jonathan, Chief Femi Fani-Fayose and Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose against the North and the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
But instead of retracing their steps, Fani-Kayode later issued a statement praising the first lady for doing wonderful campaign for his husband’s re-election.
As warned and predicted by Mu’azu, on March 28 presidential election, the Buhari and APC political hurricane swept President Jonathan and the PDP out of the Presidency for the first time since 1999.
It was one defeat too many for the party faithful and the shock appeared to be too much to bear. Instantly, the biggest party in Africa suddenly became an opposition party searching for bearing.
Confusion, blame game, verbal attacks, accusations, complaints reign in the party now as things continue to fall apart more less than two months after they lost presidential election. The governors have called on the party leadership to resign for its failure to deliver the party in the presidential poll.
The party leadership has dared the governors and the presidency, accusing them and the trio of Patience, Fayose and Fani-Kayode of being responsible for the party’s poor outing during the polls. Party leaders have called for truce to avoid the party’s extinction.
Will there be peace in the party again? Can Mu’azu survive the onslaught or will he end up like his predecessors? Who will succeed Mu’azu and provide the needed leadership for the party at this critical era? Or will the party die the Senate President David Mark has warned?