PDP: Now that Muazu is Gone

Adamu Muazu fingered

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo

I normally write on Wednesday nights, leaving Thursday mornings for tidying up, but as at 8:00 am yesterday I had not written a line. With so much churning in my head after a week in Nigeria, I could not decide what to write about or how to say it. Then, I began to think about the resignation of the “game-changer”, the former PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Adamu Muazu.

I had followed the arguments since the woeful defeat of his party in the last presidential polls by the All Progressives Congress, APC. Since that historic defeat of the PDP, there have been calls for the chairman of the party to throw in the towel. In all honesty, the only sense I had made of these calls is nonsense. Then the calls gained momentum with the resignation of the leader of the Labour Party in Britain, Ed Miliband[B1] , on May 8.

Before Adamu Muazu took the plunge, I had continuously ruminated over a quote from Pope Francis, which says “many powerful people don’t want peace because they make money off war,” I thought of that as a profound truth. Ayo Fayose and Femi Fani Kayode, who canvassed the resignation of Adamu Muazu are actually the real architects of the fall of the PDP with their misdirected and gravely misadvised campaigns of calumny. And they continue to stoke war. They hinged their calls for Ahmadu Muazus head on global best practices forgetting that Muazu was the sixth of a litany of chairmen that served the party leader, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who presided over the most turbulent period in the life of the PDP until Muazu came on January 19th 2014 to save the party from itself.

Muazu may not exactly come across as a saint but he has his good sides. He is nobody’s fall guy. It is considerably unbelievable that those who have been calling for his head should instead be thanking Muazu for the positions they hold today. Ayo Fayose is one. Muazu steered the PDP away from controversy to several amicable political settlements that led, for instance, to the party reclaiming Ekiti state from the jaws of the APC. Whatever Fayose is saying about Muazu today should count as ingratitude because it is under Muazus leadership that his so-called stomach infrastructure triumphed and made him governor.

Adamu Muazu has left a legacy that Nigeria will not forget in a hurry. What with the credit that is being given to the President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his humility in defeat? Indeed, there was a precedent. It is strongly believed, in many circles, that the quick resolve to congratulate victors even before the final results are out is the hand work of Muazu who preached that politics is not a do or die affair but a game in which there must be a victor and a vanquished. It began with the Anambra governorship elections in which PDP lost to APGA, Muazu was said to have convinced his party to congratulate not only Chief Obiano, the APGA candidate, but the party as well. Today the nation must value Muazu as many more electoral triumphs and defeats are likely to end in a convivial atmosphere because of the initiative that Muazu introduced to Nigerian politics.

Why am I recounting all these? I am not a card carrying member of the PDP but I believe that it is those who destroyed the party that are trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. And that is not acceptable. Not if one looks critically at the circumstances that led to the fall of the PDP in the 2015 elections. The blame for the rise of the APC in Nigerian politics and its subsequent electoral victory over the PDP must rest squarely on the shoulders of Muazus predecessor, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, whose over-confidence in Jonathan’s electoral invincibility dared some five governors of the party to vote with their feet. In the figment of Tukurs imagination, PDP would conquer all opposition, fair and square. Indeed, until his last minute in office as chairman of the party, he also believed that he was too good to be dumped by Jonathan. When it eventually happened, it was too late to cry, because Tukurs head had gone off and with it, the party’s most potent reason to remain strong.

The big deal is that a party from which five strong inner circle members had defected and were keeping a malicious grudge, while seeking revenge cannot rise from its own ashes to defeat its enemy. The best there was in the circumstance was to retain the party structure and angle for good hands to sustain the party after it would have learnt its lessons. Or didn’t Kano Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso threaten to teach the party a lesson in politics?

In my opinion, getting Ahmadu Muazu out is not the solution that the PDP needs. Instead, it is throwing away the baby with the bathwater. PopeFrancis inspires me to think that both Fayose and Fani Kayode lack the courage of normal living and therefore must keep ruffling feathers to stay afloat. The truth as they see it, is always torn from any code of ethics that honours the dignity of the individual and the supremacy of good conscience. They make negative utterances regardless of what the people they ridicule have sacrificed.

Many of you will disagree, and it is your right, but to demand the resignation of the one man whose political sagacity had kept the PDP together while he is in the sick bay amounts only to a coup which can only be relegated to the realms of public masturbation. And now that he is gone, what next?