PDP Crisis: President Jonathan Takes Over Party Structure
The much touted reformation of the crisis ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may have begun in earnest with President Goodluck Jonathan taken over the party structure from governors under the party;s platform.
onathan, it was learnt yesterday, actually pulled the strings of the revolt in the National Working Committee(NWC), which led to the “forced” resignation of former National Chairman, Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu and the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih.
Acting National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus, National Secretary Prof. Wale Oladipo and National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh were the coordinators of the palace coup against Mu’azu – courtesy of the Presidency.
A highly-placed source said: “With the exit of Mu’azu and Anenih, the President has beaten PDP governors to the game. He is now in firm control of the party’s structure, instead of allowing the governors to dictate the pace. He may also end up being a major financier of the party. So, whoever is not pleased will have to pitch his political tent elsewhere.
“ I can tell you that he is going to spearhead or drive the reformation of the party. With Jonathan’s emergence as the Chairman of the BOT, a new generation of leaders will take charge in PDP.
“But there is disquiet in PDP on the hijack of the party’s structure by Jonathan. Some party leaders said they might resist it after Jonathan has left power on May 29.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “I think there is a touch of 2019 in the sack of Mu’azu and Anenih. Jonathan wants to take charge of the party and reform it along its own agenda.”
Meanwhile, the search for a National Chairman has started, with the President and party leaders on agreeing that the Northeast should retain the slot to “avoid any crisis in the party, especially from members from the geopolitical zone”.
It was learnt that initially the Northcentral wanted the slot, with the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Suleiman Abubakar, as the likely choice, but the plan was stopped.
After retaining the seat in the Northeast, the leaders have begun a search for chairman.
Some leaders contemplated bringing back ex-National Chairman Bamanga Tukur, but the suggestion was immediately dismissed, The Nation learnt.
A presidency source said: “These two candidates – Muhammed and Wakil – are favorites of the President. While some leaders are pleading with the party to allow Bauchi State to produce the new chairman, others have fears that Governor Isa Yuguda and some PDP governors may not buy into the candidature of Sen. Bala Mohammed. They said it is of no use having a party chairman without a home base.
“Some are however making a strong case for Mohammed Wakil as part of a long-term plan to win the Northeast back to PDP in 2019.
“If any of the ministers becomes the PDP National Chairman, it will confirm the fact that Jonathan has taken over the PDP structure.”
It was also learnt yesterday that out-going PDP governors, who have hailed Muazu’s exit, may field one of their colleagues from the North for the position.
A source said the governors have their eyes on Jigawa State governor Alhaji Sule Lamido, and his Katsina State counterpart, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema.
According to the source, the governors may form a formidable bloc in post-2015 as the direct financiers of the party.
He added: “The out-going Preisdent, who is also a former governor, will head the powerful bloc. The governors are already convincing the president on their preference.
“Governor Lamido appears to be one of the most dedicated PDP leaders from the North. He is one of the few founding fathers who have not taken a back seat. It appears that he will command the respect of the six geo-political zones.
“But, if he declines, the odd may favour Governor Shema of Katsina State. It will be interesting that the new president and the opposition leader will come from the same state.”
The source, who is a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) added: “The governors want a dedicated leader from the North, who can continue to protect their interest. They also want a chairman who can effectively play a meaningful opposition role.”