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New PDP National Chairman Mu’azu To PDP Governors: I Won’t Interfere In State Affairs

New PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu
A former Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu

A former Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, was on Monday in Abuja inaugurated as the new national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

His inauguration at the Wadata Plaza national headquarters of the PDP authenticates The Punch exclusive report on Monday that he had been chosen as a consensus candidate for the post by PDP governors, who met late Sunday night with President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mu’azu replaces Dr. Bamanga Tukur, who resigned last Thursday following pressure on him by the PDP governors to do so.

During his inauguration which was not attended by Tukur, Mu’azu lamented that all was not well with the PDP.

Lamenting that he had watched “the dwindling fortunes” of the PDP from 2003 to date, he pledged that as a means of halting the trend, he would not interfere with state structures of the party which are controlled by governors.

He said he was aware that constant disagreements between the national chairman of the party and governors, were usually caused by the interference in the running of the party at the state level.

As a practical demonstration of his promise, he disclosed that he had already entered into agreement with his state (Bauchi) Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda.

Turning to the PDP governors present during his inauguration, Mu’azu said, “I won’t tamper with any of your structures, including that of Yuguda. I won’t tamper with any of your structures.”

Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi State, however, pleaded with the governors “to allow the (state) chairmen of the PDP to register everyone interested in joining the party in their states.”

He thanked Yuguda for moving the motion for his nomination as national chairman, saying it was rare in the history of the PDP.

“I thank Yuguda for accepting me as the chairman of the party,” Mu’azu, said.

Stressing his committment to restoring the lost glory of the PDP, he begged for the support of members of the party.

He said “ I have helplessly watched the dwindling fortunes of our party from 2003 to date. From controlling a record of 28 states in 1999 down to 23. This situation is unacceptable and it must change.”

The PDP currently controls 18 states due to the defection of five of its governors to the All Progressives Congress.

Mu’azu, who noted that the party had for several months been on the front pages of newspapers for negative reasons, said he was optimistic that it would surmount all its problems.

He said that the era of questionable primaries by the PDP were over.

The ex-governor said, “The beginning of credible, free and fair elections starts with credible, free and fair primaries. The PDP, as the leading party, must therefore, lead the way for other parties to follow. We cannot and will not condone questionable primary elections.

“In the last few months, the PDP has occupied front pages of our newspapers with negative headlines. Most political analysts predicted that the end of the gains had come.

“Over the years, the PDP has developed an internal conflict resolution mechanism. So why false prophets were predicting its collapse, insiders knew that the crisis was a storm in a teacup.

“Today, we have shown to the world an instant cure for what looked like a terminal disease. Indeed, we have demonstrated our political maturity and sagacity as the number one party in Africa.

“There is no doubt that all has not been well with our party. However, the crisis that has rocked the party is a common phenomenon with large parties.”

At the inauguration, President Goodluck Jonathan commended Yuguda for agreeing to work with Mu’azu.

He said that he had thought that it would be difficult for a governor to work well with a national chairman from his state .

The President, who spoke last at the event, said he once believed that it was better to have a national chairman of the party from a zone where it did not have many governors.

He said, “We needed someone who can build the party, who can reach out to the people and be friendly with them; someone who can bring the party together.

“A lot of things has been said about you (Mu’azu). You don’t have tribal sentiments and you are not a slave to your tribe.

“We need somebody who can build the party and not fighting and fighting every time.”

He said the party lost elections in some states due to the inability of its leaders in such states to settle their rifts.

Jonathan said he was happy that Yuguda moved the motion for Mu’azu’s nomination.

He said, “We are happy that your governor was the one who moved the motion for your nomination.

“Our governors don’t want their states to produce the chairman. We even thought of taking the office to a state without a governor from our party. But we are happy that history has been made.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, had said that the President should lead the party at the national level while the governors took charge at the state level.

He said it was unfortunate that governors were being blackmailed by people whose names he did not mention.

Akpabio, who is also the governor of Akwa Ibom State, told Mu’azu to realise that banana peel was capable of causing problems for him.

“You must beware of banana peel. We agree that crises have always been the main problems between the PDP executives and governors,” he said.

Also, the chairman of the Board of Trustees , Chief Tony Anenih, said the board would make sure that Mu’azu succeeded in his new job.

He said, “I want to commend the Bauchi State governor. He has demonstrated a high level of maturity with his action and I know that the whole PDP in the state will work together for the success of the party.

“For the BoT, we want to assure that we would work with you and offer credible advice in order to make sure that you succeed in your work.”

Others who witnessed the event were the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo; the Senate President, David Mark, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha.

Some members of the PDP Board of Trustees and former national chairmen of the party, were also in attendance. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mallam AminuTambuwal, was absent.

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