Muazu, Anenih bow to pressure, resign
• Secondus now PDP’s Acting Chairman
THE crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since it lost the presidential election in March, took a new turn yesterday with the resignation of its chairman, Ahmed Adamu Muazu.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Chief Tony Anenih, too threw in the towel yesterday and said it was to allow outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan to succeed him.
This is reminiscent of the 2007 ‘episode’ when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was leaving office and plotted Anenih’s quit for him to assume office as BOT chairman.
In effect, this is the second time the Edo State-born politician will be resigning as BOT chair.
Both Anenih and Muazu, alongside some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have been under relentless pressure from members to resign following the party’s dismal performance at the polls.
Sources at the PDP secretariat in Abuja hinted that following an exhaustive meeting presided over by Jonathan in the Presidential Villa among key leaders of the party, Anenih had agreed to throw in the towel for the emergence of fresh leadership in the party.
Muazu, who has been in the United Kingdom for treatment over an undisclosed ailment, sent in his resignation letter addressed to the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus in the early hours of Wednesday.
But in a twist to the crisis, one of the arrowheads for the sack of the NWC, former Aviation Minister and Director-General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation is now on the receiving end of a suspension threat following a letter by the PDP National Secretary, Wale Oladipo to the Osun chapter of the party to take appropriate steps to sanction him.
Secondus, who quickly con vened a meeting of the NWC to consider the development, has taken charge as the party’s acting national chairman pending the election of a substantive chairman.
The NWC, which confirmed Muazu’s resignation after its emergency meeting yesterday, also disclosed through the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh that the party leadership was already shopping for Muazu’s replacement within the North east zone.
Metuh disclosed that the NWC commended Muazu for sacrificing his position to save the party.
“For now, because of the interests being generated, I can confirm as the National Publicity Secretary, that the National Chairman who has health challenges, stayed back for the primaries, and the campaigns for the election after which he travelled abroad for treatment.
“Following his treatment and after consultations with his family, he has decided to resign as National Chairman. We commend him for the sacrifice that he made during the campaigns and commend him for the love, dedication and commitment he has to this party and we wish him well. We will not forget his services.
“In line with the constitution of the party, the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus , has taken charge as the acting national chairman of the party with immediate effect pending replacement from the North East.”
Reading the resolutions of the NWC to journalists at later yesterday, PDP National Secretary, Oladipo said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its 399th meeting Wednesday, May 20, 2015 received and accepted the voluntary resignation of the National Chairman of our great party Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu.
Consequently, in line with the provisions of sections 45 (2) of the PDP constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus acts in place of the National Chairman pending a replacement from the North East zone.
Oladipo said, the NWC will make clear the fate of Chief Annenih today Thursday.
Furthermore, the NWC expressed complete confidence of the party in the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and commended him for his outstanding performance, exemplary commitment and sacrifice, particularly in the ways and manner with which he conducts the affairs of the Publicity Directorate in projecting the positive image of the party and its government.
Meanwhile, the NWC has set up a seven-man disciplinary committee headed by Chief Micheal Addul with members comprising Chief Mike Ogiadohme, Senator Teslim Folarin, Dr. Akilu Indabawa, Dr. Hassan Kafayas, and Nonye Nwangwu while Tony Caesar Okeke serves as Secretary.
The Committee will be inaugurated on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at the party’s national secretariat.
Finally, the NWC called for calm and the understanding of all members and other critical stakeholders including the media “at this time of reengineering process in our great party while directing any member with genuine grievance to channel such through the appropriate organs.”
According to sources, the other members of the NWC, in accordance with decisions reached at the Villa meeting, are joining other leaders to put pressure on a few other party officials believed to have defaulted before and during the electioneering campaigns to resign to pave way for a quick rebuilding of the party.
The crisis which has rocked the PDP in the last few weeks, worsened after the election that saw suffer it’s first electoral loss since it came to power 16 years ago.
PDP governors had had been in the forefront of the push for the NWC to be sacked.
But the Muazu-led NWC had instead of resigning, fought back accusing the governors and some associates of President Jonathan of pursuing selfish agenda.
Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had joined other prominent members of the PDP to ask Muazu and a few other NWC members to resign because of their roles in the failure of the party in the last Presidential election.
He had said: “What is important to us now is to try to rebuild our party and to ensure that we have credible, legitimate, genuine and strong leadership that is prepared to take the in-coming APC government head on and keep them on their toes.
‘‘We need a new and fresh leadership that is made up of bright, young, strong and intellectually-inclined minds and that is tolerant of dissenting views and differing opinions.
‘‘We need a new leadership that is open, kind, fair-minded and accommodating and in order to achieve that I must add my voice to that of a number of governors and other key stakeholders and leaders in our party who have said that the party’s National Working Committee must go. Sadly the NWC has become a clog in the wheel of progress.
‘‘They have much to learn from what the leadership of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party did in the U.K. just a couple of weeks ago when they resigned a few hours after losing the election to the conservatives. They resigned with honor and no-one had to ask them to go or call for their resignation.”
Oladipo’s letter to Osun PDP letter dated 20th May, 2015 and titled: Re-Femi Fani-Kayode, requested the party to among others, investigate the membership status of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and if he is a registered and financial member, proper disciplinary actions should be meted against him through the Ward for engaging in acts contrary to Section(b) of the party constitution.
“If not a member, you are to reprimand him as a usurper.
Furthermore, all actions taken should be communicated to the National Working Committee.”
Reacting to the letter of the Osun chapter of the PDP to take appropriate steps to sanction him by the PDP national secretary, Wale Oladipo, Fani-Kayode said it was unfortunate that the NWC was attempting to victimise people who out of genuine interest in the party asked that all NWC members should quit.