by ‘Jola Sotubo
The race for the national chairmanship of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is on and indications have emerged that a former governor of Bauchi, Adamu Mu’azu, has been chosen to fill the role.
The former PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, resigned last week after a series of calls from various quarters for him to do so.
Mu’azu, who was governor of the state from 1999-2007, is said to have been chosen yesterday night at a meeting attended by PDP stakeholders.
The former governor is said to still be under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly looting N19.8billion from the state coffers during his tenure.
Premium Times reports:
Barring any last-minute change in plan, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will, at its National Executive Committee meeting on Monday (today), ratify a former governor of Bauchi state, Adamu Mu’azu, as its new national chairman, party and presidency sources have said.
The usually reliable sources told PREMIUM TIMES early Monday morning that Mr. Mu’azu emerged the consensus candidate for the job after a rash of meetings involving President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP governors and other influential chieftains of the party, including Vice President Namadi Sambo and President of the Senate, David Mark.
Mr. Mu’azu, who will now replace Bamanga Tukur, who was forced out of office Thursday, emerged ahead of Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, a former Minister of Commerce, Idris Waziri, former Acting National Secretary of the party, Musa Babayo, a former party spokesperson, Ahmed Rufai Alkali and a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Ibrahim Bunu, who were all widely reported to have jostled for the position.
A party source familiar with the maneuverings and negotiations that threw up Mr. Mu’azu said President Jonathan actually preferred Minister Umar for the position but was outfoxed by governors from the North-East geopolitical zone who all rooted for Mr. Mu’azu.
When Mr. Jonathan tried to insist on Mr. Umar, insiders say, the North-East governors reminded him of how they deferred to him two years ago when he insisted on Mr. Tukur for the position in spite of massive opposition from the zone.
Our sources said Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, and President of the Senate, Mr. Mark, joined the North-East governors in pushing that position.
They reportedly warned the president against foisting an unpopular candidate on party members to avoid a repeat of the Tukur situation where the party was perpetually in crisis throughout his reign.
Mr. Mu’azu, 55, was among candidates who contested for the PDP chairman position in March 2012.
In November 2013, President Jonathan appointed the former Bauchi governor chairman of the Nigerian Pension Commission, PENCOM.
He was appointed to the position even though he is still being investigated for graft by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly looting N19.8billion belonging to his state while he was governor between 1999 and 2007.
The former governor has consistently denied any wrongdoing but he is yet to be cleared of the allegation.