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by Sola Fabiyi and Olalekan Adetayo
A former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has been chosen as the new Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party by President Goodluck Jonathan and governors.
He will replace the former chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who resigned from his position on Wednesday.
Mu’azu was picked as a consensus candidate at a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors of the party at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Sunday night.
The meeting ended at 1:22 am on Monday (today) morning.
Investigations showed that the governors had rejected the choice of Mohammed Wakil by the President and his wife, Patience.
Some reasons were said to have been adduced for the rejection of Wakil, a former House of Representatives Leader. The reasons included his alleged inability to carry people along when he was a principal officer of the House.
A governor told one of our correspondents after the meeting that the President was bent on picking Wakil, who had undergone screening by the security agents for a ministerial position.
The governor, who asked not to be named, said the President wanted Wakil at all costs but was vehemently opposed by the governors.
He said the meeting lasted long because it was difficult for the President to accept defeat.
The governor said, “Yes, we have picked Mu’azu. He will be presented to the members of the PDP NEC on Monday(today) for ratification.”
It was also gathered that the Governor of Bauchi State, Malla. Isa Yuguda, later agreed with the choice of Mu’azu, after his initial opposition.
Mu’azu was last week sworn in as the chairman of the National Pensions Commission by Jonathan.
Mu’azu was born on June 11, 1955 and was governor of Bauchi State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007.
Before the Villa meeting, the North-East governors, met at the Bauchi State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
The PDP chairmanship post was zoned to the North-East.
The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio, and Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson were said to have attended the meeting by the North-East governors before the one at the Villa.
Before the two meetings, the President had a private meeting with Seriake ostensibly over who would emerge as the new chairman of the PDP.
Before Sunday, a former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Alkali (Gombe State); ex- Acting National Secretary, Dr. Musa Babayo (Bauchi); and a former Minister of Commerce, Amb. Idris Waziri (Taraba), were touted as some of the five top contenders for the job.
An ex- Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Ibrahim Bunu (Borno) and the current Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, who is believed to be the choice of the wife of the President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, were also in the race.
During the meeting between Jonathan and the governors, journalists were asked to leave the venue .
The governors in attendance were Jonah Jang (Plateau), Seidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu).
Others were Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) Idris Wada (Kogi), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Garba Umar (Taraba), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari.
All the governors from the North-East arrived the same time with Akpabio and Dickson, thus confirming the belief that they were also at the Bauchi Governor’s Lodge..
Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the President of the Senate, David Mark, also attended the meeting alongside the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus.
Article read in PUNCH
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