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Why we chose Mu’azu as PDP’s new Chairman —Jonathan (Plus: The intrigues that led to his emergence)

By News Express on 21/01/2014

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President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu was chosen as the new national chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because he is a bridge builder with the ability to reach out to aggrieved party members.

Jonathan spoke in Abuja at the special national executive committee (NEC) meeting of the PDP, following late-night discussions with state governors on the selection of a successor for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who resigned last week.

The NEC was convened to ratify the decision of Sunday night’s meeting, which ended in the early hours of yesterday.

During the NEC session, Mu’azu, a former Bauchi State governor, was nominated by his long-standing political rival, Governor Isa Yuguda.

In making the nomination, Yuguda said whatever differences that existed between him and Mu’azu were now history and that they had resolved to work together in the interest of the party.

He said they would break the jinx of party chairmen not working well with their state governors in the past.

President Jonathan said Mu’azu stood out from other aspirants because of his ability to reach out and make friends with aggrieved members.

He said at this time the PDP needed a chairman who is a bridge builder and who could win friends for the party and not one whose posture is to antagonise others.

“People came to me, some did not mention names but came with suggestions, and I agree with them in terms of what we need now: somebody who can build the party, make friends and reach out,” he said.

“All those who showed interest are eminently qualified but one quality that stood Mu’azu out is because from comments about him are his unique attributes as a peace maker who has many friends from the North to the South, from the East to the West.”

He added that Mu’azu is a detribalised Nigerian who does not play the ethnic or religious cards in his dealings with others. He also said the PDP wanted people who would build bridges and not those who will “fight, fight, fight.”

He urged the new chairman to douse the tension in the states to expand the electoral chances of the party, saying the PDP lost elections in many states because party leaders in those states failed to cooperate with one another.

Jonathan also called on the state governors to cooperate with the new chairman.

Mu’azu, 58, in his acceptance speech, said having observed that the party has been in the news for negative reasons in recent times, he would strive to redeem its image by transforming it.

He urged party leaders to open their doors to all those who want to join or return to the party.

The new chairman is facing investigations of corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but no charges have been filed. The commission is investigating him over allegations of fraud when he was governor in 1999-2003.

Meanwhile, details emerged yesterday of how President Jonathan overruled the state governors in the selection of Mu’azu as new chairman of the ruling PDP.

Sources briefed on the process that led to the new chairman’s emergence disclosed that the governors actually preferred former Agriculture Minister Adamu Maina Waziri, but Jonathan insisted on Mu’azu.

It was learnt that some South-South confidants of the President advised him to choose Mu’azu on the thinking that he would be able to checkmate the governors if they try to go against the president’s interest.

A source in the PDP said the chain of events on Sunday began with a ‘secret’ meeting of PDP governors, where they decided among others to ensure a new chairman is chosen from a non-PDP state, to avoid potential problems for any governor whose state produces the chairman.

Most of the governors therefore decided to make case for Waziri from Yobe, a state controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

But when they came to the Presidential Villa for the Sunday night meeting where a name was to be agreed on, the President said he wanted them to support Mu’azu.

The governors, especially Yuguda, protested the president’s choice but he stuck to his guns.

It was learnt that some governors were not comfortable with Mu’azu because of his links with the former governors of their states who they are not in good terms with.

The new chairman is coming in the wake of unprecedented crisis in the party that has won every general election since 1999.

The dispute between the erstwhile chairman and key party leaders cost the party dearly with the defection of five governors and 37 National Assembly members to the APC late last year.

•Text courtesy Daily Trust. Photo shows President Jonathan applauding as new PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu makes his acceptance speech.

Source News Express

Posted 21/01/2014 1:53:22 PM


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