THE QUESTION: Is Mu’azu, PDP Chairman, Really Quietly Working For Buhari?

imageReports that Adamu Mu’azu, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is treated with strong suspicion in the camp of President Goodluck Jonathan may not be flimsy after all. Already, there are insinuations that Mu’azu, who was the governor of Bauchi state from 1999 to 2007, is not “lifting a finger” for Jonathan ahead of the March 28 presidential election, apart from putting up appearances at the rallies. Worse still, it is feared that he might actually be more sympathetic to the cause of Muhammadu Buhari, who is flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC). A senior presidency official confirmed to TheCable that “Mu’azu is not in the good books of the president but it would be too much to say he is working for Buhari or that he would be asked to resign”. An associate of Mu’azu told TheCable that the PDP chairman is “angry” at the way the president’s wife has been attacking the north in her campaign speeches, as well as her “disrespectful remarks” against Buhari whom she described as “braindead”. However, a source close to Buhari told TheCable that there have been “indirect contact” from Mu’azu whom he said is under “tremendous pressure” from his family not to throw his body on the line for Jonathan. The source said Mu’azu is now more disposed to having Buhari as the next president, and attributed it to the “political currents in Bauchi state”. Bauchi has always been a very difficult hunting ground for the PDP in presidential elections, and the fact that Mu’azu is from the state is not expected to change the ruling party’s fortune in the forthcoming poll. In 2003, Mu’azu was re-elected governor but former President Olusegun Obasanjo lost to Buhari in the presidential election in the state. Buhari also won in Bauchi in 2007, while Jonathan did not even score 25% in the state in 2011, and even though that is the target this time around, the prospects are not looking bright. Bala Mohammed, the FCT minister, is believed to be the only big Bauchi politician working to secure at least 25% for Jonathan, with the loyalty of others seriously in doubt. Jonathan’s convoy was pelted with missiles in January when he went to Bauchi to campaign — an incident that had fingers pointing at the state governor, Isa Yuguda, who is not on good terms with Mohammed. The incident was blamed on their rivalry but presidency is said to be unhappy with Mu’azu over the messy state of the PDP in the state. An attempt to defend Mu’azu by the PDP national secretariat last week was dismissed by some Bauchi elders who asked the national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, to stop “defending the indefensible”. In a statement signed by Bibi Dogo on behalf of the elders, they asked Jonathan not to rely on Mu’azu to deliver 25% to him because the national chairman “has not done anything to empower stakeholders in the state”. They said: “There is also nothing concrete on ground to show Mua’zu’s personal commitment to the Jonathan re-election efforts. Attending presidential campaign rallies organised by PDP presidential campaign organisation is not enough commitment from the national chairman of the party. “In fact to govern a state for eight years under the same party is enough for Mu’azu to deliver Bauchi to Jonathan 100 percent, if actually Mu’azu is in control of the party in his state. “Metuh should come to Bauchi to carry out thorough investigation on the true character of Mu’azu before defending the indefensible. The truth of the matter is that since his emergence as the PDP national chairman, Mu’azu has not on his own convened a stakeholders forum in Bauchi State to convince the people on why it is incumbent to support Jonathan’s re-election.” A presidency official who spoke with TheCable accused Mu’azu of using his position to cause disaffection within the party. “He has lost the confidence of many members of the party because of his unholy alliance with some aspirants to make them candidates. It was scandalous. “As a result, the president is not really happy with him. He himself knows that the president is only putting up with him. Nobody has asked him to resign and he is not likely to resign before the elections, but his cup is full,” he said. If Mu’azu leaves a little over a year of being in office, the chairmanship position of the ruling party may appear jinxed. His predecessor, Bamanga Tukur, left in controversial circumstances. Tukur’s predecessor, Abubakar Baraje, held the position in an acting capacity and his ouster is believed to have led to the exit of his benefactor, Bukola Saraki, from the PDP. Baraje led the breakaway “new PDP” which later merged with the APC to form what is considered as Nigeria’s biggest opposition party in this democratic dispensation.

Source: TheCABLE

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