R-L Mu’azu, Sambo and Anenih, when the going was good
By Chuks Okocha and Jaiyeola Andrews in Abuja
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a turn for the worse wednesday when both the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, finally succumbed to the growing pressure to step down. The duo tendered their letters of resignation yesterday.
The resignations are with immediate effect.
Mu’azu, it was gathered, was the first to send in his resignation letter much earlier in the day, whereupon President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have directed Anenih to also resign his office as well.
Anenih complied with the directive when he dropped his letter of resignation at 5.20 pm wednesday.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has also accepted his (Anenih) resignation commending the vital roles he played in the party, especially as the BoT chairman. Until a new BoT chair is elected, the secretary of the Board, Senator Walid Jibrin, will hold the forte.
Indications are emerging that President Goodluck Jonathan may replace Anenih as the BoT chairman. But it's still foggy.
Confirming the resignation of Mu'azu, the party's National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said that the "national chairman resigned this morning (Wednesday) and in line with the constitution of PDP, the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has stepped in as the Acting National Chairman of PDP pending a replacement from the North-east".
According to Metuh, "The National Secretary of PDP, Prof. Olawale Oladipo, will address the press in an hour's time of developments in the party. But I can confirm that the national chairman who has health challenges and still outside the country on medical grounds and that after due consultations with members of his family and close friends has announced his resignation as the national chairman of PDP.
"We shall continue to accord him all due respect for his efforts in the last campaigns of the just concluded general election and shall not forget him in a hurry.
"In line with the PDP constitution, the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has taken over as the acting national chairman of PDP pending his replacement from the North-east geo political zone."
Following the developments, Secondus and Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, wednesday met behind closed-doors with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Secondus arrived the Presidential Villa at about 5.15pm.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, but checks indicate that it had to do with the crisis rocking the party.
Secondus' meeting with Jonathan, according to findings, was to brief the president on the developments and seek his support.
As at the time of filing this report, the meeting was still in progress.
But peeved by the accusation of sabotage and cowardice slammed on them by the Director of Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the party's NWC has asked the Osun State chapter of the party to determine the membership and financial status of Fani-Kayode.
Fani-Kayode had on Tuesday alleged that the NWC members led by Mu'azu were responsible for PDP’s massive failure in the recent elections.
He said: "Instead of leading the party, these few individuals in the NWC were busy doing deals with the APC secretly. We in the PCO were not like others that were collecting monies from all the various PDP aspirants in the states and promising them the party’s nomination and ticket.
"From day one, all they did was sulk about the fact that a Presidential Campaign Organisation had been set up and that they would not be able to have control of the campaign themselves or have access to the resources that we were given. At every point, they tried to undermine our efforts and sabotage us but we ignored them and remained focused on doing our job despite their provocations.
"From day one all they were interested in was in controlling others and telling them what to do. They were not in the fray, they refused to enter the heat of battle and all they did was moan and bicker from the side walk like little children.
"What we were doing and attempting to do was lost on them because they had never taken anything seriously and they found it hard to comprehend the logic and style of those of us that did it."
Reacting to what Fani-Kayode said, the NWC of the party in a letter to its Osun State chapter, signed by the National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, said: "The NWC at its meeting on Wednesday 20th May, 2015, reviewed the press war mounted against the NWC by Femi Fani-Kayode
"Consequently the NWC request Osun State chairman of the PDP to among others;
"Investigate the membership of Femi Fani-Kayode, if he is a registered and financial member, proper disciplinary actions should be meted against Femi Fani-Kayode through his ward for engaging in acts contrary to section 58 (1) b of the party constitution.
"If not a member, you are to reprimand him as a usurper.
"All actions taken should be communicated to the NWC."
Meanwhile, Oladipo has announced the setting up of a seven-man disciplinary committee to ensure discipline in the party.
The NWC said that the seven-man disciplinary committee is headed by Chief Michael Addul, while the members comprise Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, Senator Teslim Folarin, Dr. Akilu Indabawa, Dr. Hassan Kafayas, Mr Nonye Nwangwu and Mr Tony Caesar Okeke would serve as Secretary.
The committee will be inaugurated on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at its National Secretariat.
Also, the statement said: "NWC at its 399th meeting yesterday said it received and accepted the voluntary resignation of the National Chairman of our great party Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu.
"Consequently, in line with the provisions of sections 45 (2) of the PDP constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, acts in place of the National Chairman pending a replacement from the North-east zone.
"Furthermore, the NWC expressed complete confidence of the party in the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, and commended him for his outstanding performance, exemplary commitment and sacrifices, particularly in the ways and manner with which he conducts the affairs of the Publicity Directorate in projecting the positive image of the party and its government."
In his reaction to Mu'azu's resignation, Fani-Kayode said that it was not enough, as the best thing is for the entire NWC members to emulate Mu’azu and resign.
He expressed shock at the reaction of the NWC to his earlier statement where he accused the members of sabotaging President Jonathan's re-election, adding that it was unfair to single him out at other party members like Governor Sule Lamido, Governor Ayo Fayose had spoken in similar manner calling for the resignation of the entire NWC.
Also reacting, former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, described the resignation of Mu'azu, as “the best thing to have happened to us”.
George, a member of PDP's National Caucus, said the resignation had proved that “PDP is made up of people with integrity”.
He also described the setting aside of zoning by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for national offices such as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives as 'dangerous'.
According to him, “It is in our party's interest. It is the best thing to have happened to us. It shows that PDP has a strong norm and culture and it will allow us reposition our party.
“We are happier than before because PDP will become stronger to face the challenges ahead. As from May 29, we will become the opposition party at the national level. We need to restrategise.
“He (Mu'azu) has done the honourable thing and that is why PDP is different from other parties. Mu'azu is a foundation member of the party, a founding governor. He has followed the path of honour like President Goodluck Jonathan. I wish him the best of luck."
On zoning, he said: “APC is making a big mistake which is a very dangerous concept for the polity. That means we are back in 1960. How can you say you are setting aside zoning? It is dangerous. I just pray that General Muhammadu Buhari will rise above tribal sentiment to manage everybody."
R-L Mu’azu, Sambo and Anenih, when the going was good