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Mu’azu at war with Fayose

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Adamu Mu’azu, and Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose took to their Twitter handles on Thursday to tackle each other over the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election.

Their action came less than three days after President Goodluck Jonathan called on the PDP leaders to stop the blame game over his loss to the All Progressives Congress Muhammadu Buhari in order to reposition the party ahead of the 2019 elections.

It also took place just as The PUNCH learnt from the Wadata Plaza national headquarters of the PDP that there was no plan by the party’s leadership to present Jonathan as their Board of Trustees chairman.

Fayose had on Tuesday claimed that he had evidence that   Mu’azu   connived with the APC to ensure the defeat of   Jonathan at the polls. He went ahead to ask Mu’azu to resign.

But angered by the governor’s call and claim, the PDP   Chairman   dared Fayose, to provide evidence of the allegations he (Fayose) levelled against him.

Mu’azu said   that it was the hate campaign which Fayose targeted at Buhari that cost Jonathan the Presidency.

While daring Fayose to provide the evidence, he said, “Fayose said he has evidence that I, Mu’azu, worked for the APC. I hope it is not the kind of evidence he once said he had that Buhari was dying.”

Mu’azu said he repeatedly warned members of the PDP to run an issue-based campaign but overzealous supporters of Jonathan opted for hate campaign against Buhari.

Fayose was one of Buhari’s most vociferous attackers. He once claimed Buhari was too sick to rule and might die in office like former Heads of State Umaru Yar’Adua, Murtala Muhammed and Sani Abacha.

The PDP chairman said, “You will all recall that I warned members of our presidential campaign organisation to stop the hate campaign.

“I challenge Governor Fayose to come out with evidence that shows that I, the national chairman, worked with the APC during the elections.”

Mu’azu said it was unfortunate that Fayose was the one leading the call for his removal.

He recalled how he and other leaders of the party ensured that Fayose became the PDP governorship candidate in Ekiti State last year.

According to him, the same party leaders, including himself, helped Fayose to secure victory against the then Governor Kayode Fayemi on June 21, 2014.

“I, as the national chairman campaigned for Governor Fayose, defended him and was at his inauguration and will continue to support him and the people of Ekiti State,” he said.

However, Fayose, while also reacting on Twitter   berated Mu’azu for openly criticising him.

The governor said it was ironic that Mu’azu, who never attacked the APC during the campaigns, could be exchanging words with him on Twitter.

He said, “Disloyalty: A leader who takes to Twitter to slight a party member but never did the same with or to the opponent. God sees our hearts.”

Fayose said it was unfortunate that the PDP leaders could be exchanging heated words in public. He, therefore, called for calm as this was the only way the PDP would be able to survive as an opposition party.

The governor said, “The PDP will outlast many of us. The legacy of true politics is service to the people, loyalty to one’s team and a clear conscience before God.

“This is not the time for mudslinging but truth is never out of season. Be assured that the PDP will emerge stronger from all issues.

“I have seen defeat and I have seen victory. Nothing is dear to me now except true service to our people which is what politics should be.

“Defeat is never permanent, victory is never ending. The PDP will unite, mobilise and continue to stand with the people.”

No plan to remove Anenih for Jonathan

Meanwhile, the leadership of the PDP has denied propping up   Jonathan to emerge as the party’s BOT chairman.

Speaking in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, the National Secretary of the PDP,   Wale Oladipo, said he was not aware of a move by some members of the party to have Jonathan take over the post currently occupied by Tony Anenih.

A group known as the Concerned PDP Leaders, had on Thursday called for the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee and the BoT.

It also threatened to form a faction if the NWC and BoT were not sacked.

A member of the group in Lagos said their   demands were   as a result of the poor performance of the party during the last general elections.

He said, “We want to breathe a new lease of life into the party and to do this, we must dissolve the BoT. We are planning to bring in Jonathan as the BoT chairman. The party’s constitution is clear on who becomes the BoT chairman.

“President Jonathan will automatically be the next chairman because our party’s constitution says former presidents can hold the position. Jonathan is the only former president we have in the party now.

“We will set up a parallel PDP if we do not take control of the party at the NWC and BoT levels. This means that Mu’azu and the incumbent BoT chairman, Chief   Anenih, must go,” he added.

But a member of the BoT,   Ebenezer Babatope, said the PDP leadership would embark on a systematic restructuring of the party and not on sacking or expulsion of any member now .

He said, “We have not got to that stage of calling for the removal of Chief Anenih as the chairman of the BoT but it is true that a former Head of State can be the BoT chair. President Jonathan remains the leader of the party because he’s the last Head of State the PDP has but we must do things systematically.

“The national caucus of the party, the BoT and the National Executive Council will meet very soon to ensure the review of the elections and we will ensure a perfect reconciliation. There’s nothing like a plot to remove Chief Anenih for   Jonathan, although nobody will oppose the President.

“The caucus of the party must first meet, followed by the BoT and then the NEC. This is when we will begin the reconciliation; we can’t jump any of the stages. Nobody will oppose the President but we have to do things in order because if we don’t, we are going to create more problems. The President as a man of order won’t go against orderliness.”

Babatope stated that those clamouring for the sack of the BoT   could not effect   a change.

He said. “We all have a share in the failure of the party. We should not single out some individuals for attack. This is the time to unite and put our house in order.”

Another member of the BoT,   Shuaib Oyedokun, also said he was not aware of the call for the sack of the BoT chairman and members.

He said, “I’ve not heard about that. I can’t comment on it because I’m a member of the review committee of the last elections. I don’t want to say anything that will show bias.”

However, a top source within the PDP in Abuja said that Jonathan could not emerge as the BoT chairman because “he (Jonathan) caused a lot of disquiet within the party.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that the PDP governors-elect   would determine the path the party would follow.

He said, “The PDP as presently constituted cannot offer any opposition to the APC. The newly-elected governors are the ones the party is looking up to. They are the ones who are expected to bring out money and mobilise in their respective states.

“The question is will our governors stand together? We may see some of them defecting.

“I’m also foreseeing the emergence of a third force within the APC. This force will feel aggrieved about the power play within the APC and it will pull out. It may not defect to the PDP. It is this force that will form the opposition in the country.”

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