PDP Chairman, Mu’azu Vows to Surmount Problems Bedevilling the Party
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu, has said the problems bedevilling the party are not insurmountable and he is prepared to solve them and reposition the PDP ahead of 2015 elections.
Speaking Saturday at a civic reception held in his honour at the Government House, Bauchi, Mu’azu said even though he had a short timeframe to restructure the party before the 2015 elections, he would ensure that he reconcile all aggrieved members that left the party.
Five PDP governors, some of the party’s state and federal lawmakers and elected council officials had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the crisis that hit the party, which led to the resignation of national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and the emergence of Mu’azu.
Soliciting the cooperation and support of the party’s stakeholders, Mu’azu said, “One of the main tasks ahead of me as the national chairman of the party is to see how all our members who have defected to the opposition will be restored to the party. I think the PDP is where they belong and any comfort they are receiving from any other party is just a mirage”.
Noting that he came on board at a time when the party was facing serious turbulence, he, however, assured that he was committed to mending the broken walls by reconciling all aggrieved members.
The party chair also said his leadership would ensure a level playing ground for all aspirants and advised aspirants wishing to contest elections within the party to go back to their wards and get the support of the people at the grassroots.
He also used the opportunity to debunk speculations that he and his successor, Governor Isa Yuguda, were political enemies, pointing out that they were childhood friends and would remain so.
Mu’azu said: “I have enjoyed a very cordial relationship with Isa Yuguda right from childhood and I don’t see how our political differences in the past should come between us. Apart from the fact that we were in the same political party during my two tenures in office as governor of Bauchi State, we have never had any reason to become political enemies even when he defected to the defunct ANPP and obtained the governorship ticket of the state in 2007.
“I have always given him my political support whenever he needed it most. when I was considered for the national chairmanship of PDP, Yuguda was one of the first governors that nominated me for that position. Those thinking we are in conflict with one another are wasting their time. I want to thank Yuguda for nominating me and drumming support for me and the party among his colleagues and members of the National Working Committee.”
In his remarks, Governor Yuguda assured the PDP national chairman of the support of the state chapter of the party and called on the people of the state to pray for his success.
He also assured Mu’azu that there was no room for any other political party in Bauchi, adding, “there is unity and the fear of God existing in PDP in the state’’.
Meanwhile, it was gathered at the weekend that had the efforts made by President Goodluck Jonathan to reach out to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar not been frustrated by some presidency officials, the former vice president would not have been on the verge of quitting the party.
An informed source told THISDAY that following the defection by some officials elected on the platform of the party, President Jonathan became open to dialogue and was ready to consult widely with stakeholders of the party, including former Vice President Abubakar, but the initiative was scuttled by certain powerful political figures in the Presidency who insisted Atiku was not needed.
The source lamented that contrary to the prevailing view, President Jonathan’s reconciliation efforts within the PDP were genuine but were frustrated by powerful officials in the Presidency, thereby making the President to navigate between pursuing his personal commitments to reconciliation and trying to please powerful officials of the presidency.
The source specifically said at the peak of the crisis rocking the party, President Jonathan met with Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih. Jonathan was said to have directed them to study the petition written by the former vice president to the PDP and advise him on how to address his grievances in the best interest of the party.
Sambo, was, however, said not to be favourably disposed to the initiative, and was alleged on two occassions to have told the president that Atiku was not needed.
The vice president has, however, debunked insinuations that he was blocking PDP’s reconciliation efforts with Atiku.
When THISDAY sought Sambo’s reaction, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Umar Sani, said: “The question is how and why will the VP block any move to reconcile with Atiku or any aggrieved Northerner to forge a common front for unity and progress?
“It should therefore be made clear that nothing will propel the VP to fight against those that will help strengthen the party nationally”.
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