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EDITORIAL: Adamu Mu’azu; Let The Charity Begin From Home

By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, African Examiner Nigeria Bureau, Lagos

At the risk of evoking many uncomplimentary reactions from the readers, I take pains to first clarify that today’s editorial commentary is not aimed at holding brief for any political party or an attempt to run down, neither any party, nor personality. Instead, the piece was conceived and written out of genuine concern and the fact that, anything that happens in the country’s ruling and the leading opposition political parties impact seriously on the peoples psyche, government’s activities as well as how the country is perceived within and beyond its shore.

It will therefore be more meaningful if this thought is shared and accepted, hence the aim of the commentary is properly driven home.

The National chairman of People Democratic Party Adamu Muazu

The National chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Adamu Muazu

This week, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu displayed what ordinarily could have been described as an advanced political posture, when he offered to visit his opposition – the  All Progressives Congress (APC), National Chairman counterpart, Chief John Odigie – Oyegun.

Alhaji Mu azu was quoted as saying “I will visit the APC chairman soon, we must have the spirit of sportsmanship, that is why we are not making noise in Osun because we were defeated…and I call on the opposition to follow suit”. The statement was part of his response when he hosted Forum of the Former Governors led by its Chairman, the ex governor of the old Anambra State and one time Minister of Sports, Chief Jim Nwobodo, at the PDP National secretariat, FCT Abuja.

Mu’azu went further to say the move was to to show PDP’s commitment to democracy and the party’s spirit of sportsmanship. He repeatedly calls on the opposition to take similar initiative.

These comments as pleasant and matured as they may be, yet, fail to justify and represent the prevailing realities, especially as  related to what the source of the statements represent – the ruling party.

Commentaries like those made by Mu’azu are expected from the one whose house is organized and in order; the one that has control and respect over the inhabitants of his household, in other words a truly role model.

The party Mu’azu represents for now, regardless of its size, the spread, membership volume and years of its reign, obviously lacks this status.

Under the leadership of Alhaji Mu’azu, his party  either in the past or recently is faced with many challenges within, while it battles with so many unresolved issues with the oppositions and their stalwarts. For instance, so many of the PDP party’s bigwigs  with the intention to contest the Presidential’s primary were against their wish asked to step down for the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a situation that later made him emerged as the party’s consensus Presidential candidate, even before the primaries! Ironically, the same ruling party’s high hierachy later announced opposition to consensus candidature within its ranks.

But before the directive, some state chapters of the party  have rubber stamped the development at the top level. Notably among these is the Enugu’s wing which recently announced Hon. Ugwuanyi Ifeanyi as its consensus Gubernatorial candidate.The situation is the same in its Ebonyi state’s chapter, where members purportedly have consented on (about to resign) Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu as its sole candidate for governorship election. The two state chapters are presently not in total harmony as protests (although being denied) trail the consensus decision.

Away from that, it is very certain that there will be some internal wranglings as the remaining six Ministers most likely to vacate their positions next week, join their state chapters with the aim of being given the gubernatorial tickets, without necessarily contesting. These are critical internal democratic issues for the PDP National head to bother about and ought to have caught its leadership attention, thereby looks seriously into how to mitigate them, so as to ultimately run one house.

If the internal squabbles within the ruling party is regarded mild or considered as usual, “family affairs”, the situation is totally different with respect to some of its political advances, relationship and disposition with the oppositions, in particular, the APC.

Under the watch of the current PDP National Chairman, two gubernatorial elections have held, in the South Western part of the country. Although, not violent, but failed to pass the test of a complete free, fair and credible elections. Better still, can Mr. Chairman explain the unarguably “militarization”, harassment and arrest of the opposition members who up till the moment, the reason (s) for their intimidation during the elections is or are yet to be established?

A quick reminder please. President Goodluck Jonathan adduced then that the reason for detachment of heavy security personnel was to check violence as well  as the break down of law and order. This defence as generally established did not also match with actual scenario in the states during the two polls. It then clearly implies the high handedness of the polls by the ‘strong powers’ was for some other reasons, one of them – intimidation.

History will help a lot here too. Alhaji Mu’azu has assumed the Chairman of the PDP when around June this year the impeachment threats were directed at both former Adamawa state Governor, Muritala Nyako and his current Nasarawa state’s counterpart, Umaru Tanko Al – Makura. The two used to be members of the ruling PDP, although. the latter rode to his position on the platform of another opposition – the CPC. It is very note worthy that the reasons for their sack moves were never deemed necessary by their states’ legislators until they defected to the new opposition platform.

And Mu’azu is singing “commitment to democracy” and his party’s “spirit of sportsmanship”. While Nyako was consumed in the impeachment saga, Al – Makura managed to wriggle out of the remotely instigated sack drives. The point being made here is not about sparing sanctions on confirmed corrupt public officers; not about hailing any political group, but that punishments should be served, irrespective of party affiliation, tribes or religion creed.

The type of commitment to democracy and positive spirit being promoted this time by the ruling party National Chairman, especially outside his political association is not yet clear. Just last weekend, the residential quarters of some opposition Edo state legislators were invaded, occupants attacked and terrorized, while the targets escaped by whiskers. The operations reportedly lasted for hours in a location supposedly to be guarded by the security operatives. Up till now, the intruders remained unknown.

The Edo state House of Assembly has been in eyes of the storm for some months now. Very disturbing, about seven legislators of the PDP till the moment, hold sway and run a parallel legislative chamber!, side by side with about 16 other members belonging to the state ruling party, the APC who run a separate House.

The replica of the ongoing anarchy in Edo has been witnessed previously in Rivers state over two years ago, during the tenure of the immediate National head of the PDP, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, when about six lawmakers were bent on unseating the Speaker who enjoyed the support of about 19 members of the House. Where are the commitment and brotherly spirit Mu’azu is touting in all of these?

The truth here is that PDP as a ruling party still has a very long way to thread with respect to positive spirit, fairplay and good sportsmanship. With some of the blames laying at its doorstep, note, (no other political party could for now, wield equal political power like it does), its National Chairman, the President and its members, nationwide need serious re –orientation; re –focus; re – direction in line with the true and total compliance and demonstration of advanced and principle of democracy, which is far from what is presently being witnessed in the country.

Mu’azu should begin his campaign from within his party and make sure his members adhere strictly, and to the letter of his renewed drives. It is only and only after then, he can move out and commence the next phase of good democratic crusade – reaching out to whoever and whatever extent he can and the time permits.

If Alhaji Mu’azu fails to do this, his agitation and demand for true democracy could at best go for another trickish plot to call the oppositions names, or better still, a mere blackmail! The decision is his and his party, if truly they mean well for this country, politicians, opposition political parties and largely future of civil government in Nigeria.

For the oppositions, in particular the APC, it will never be surprising if either its National Head, Chief Oyegun or his party men, even both open their doors for the advanced jaw – jaws. After all, they are all politicians – share certain similar traits.  However, what the Nigerians and the rest of the world would expect the leading opposition to use such a forum for, is to be temporarily ‘apolitical’ and makes its critical positions known –  point blank. That, enough of deceits, impunity, anarchy and penchant for powers by all means. APC should also be ready to make all its words its bond.

The opposition is known and already reputed for all of these, so, it should never hesitate to do same if eventually meets with the headship of its rival political party.

Like it was established earlier in this piece, the directions, pronouncements, actions and reactions of the two parties and their members has strong impacts in the way many think and feel within and outside, about the country. Everything about the two associations equally impacts on the security and peaceful co – existence of this country, therefore, such proposed parley must be given all the seriousness it deserves.

Finally, this meeting, if it ever holds should not be another talk show, rather, a critical, sincere and concerned assessment and deliberation, in which the resolutions will not start and end on the table, but rub – off on the parties and their members before, during and after the elections and most importantly, in the governance. If this is not achieved, the embarrassment and ridicule on us, politically, as a nation will persist

Mr. IBO, Thread Gently; Gently Please!

Those who reside in Lagos know him and his type very well. The country’s political analysts also have dossier of his past. But for a refreshment, he was a former LG Chairman (Lagos Island); one time state Commissioner; formerly a Senator and Ex- High Commissioner in the Nigeria’s Ghanaian Consulate and now a Minister of State (likely to resign his appointment) any moment from now.

Musiliu Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro, otherwise called Koro Ibo needs some moments of reflection as he is about to pull out of his present position to contest the PDP gubernatorial primary and later compete with the candidates of other political parties, come 2015. Recall, he contested the similar position in 2007 and lost to the incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). The growing concern about Koro’s participation in the coming contest is his link with gangsterism, violence and other very frightening approaches in electioneering campaigns.

Specifically, it must be stated that the high level of uruly conducts associated with Obanikoro’s campaign in 2007 are not needed again. If for anything, at least to preserve the precious lives of the residents of the state and allow them to live peacefully in the approaching gubernatorial election. Mr. Obanikoro, as intelligent and as smart as you appear, note that this should be enough joker for you to market yourself, your party and endear people to get their votes in the general elections (the party’s primary is a done deal for you).

Mr Ibo, you should and must take a cue from your fellow party man and the state’s PDP governorship flagbearer in 2011 elections, Dr. Shamsideen Ade Dosumu. In fairness very articulate, extra ordinarily intelligent, focused, cool, calm and calculative. His campaign was bereft of the orchestrated and needless violence compare to yours in 2007. Dosumu subjected himself to all public scrutiny and made the whole exercise more civil and very educative. Although lost the election, but he honestly gave a very good account of himself and the stuff he is made of. Many look forward to that in you. If not impressed by this, Koro should also cast his mind back to an election contested and purportedly won by his son in one of the state’s LCDA in the state about three years ago. If Indeed koro’s son won that election (although lost out in court) he should realize not really on account of violence and the many serious concerns being raised here. I stand to be corrected here.

Again, Koro Ibo should realize that there is a paradigm shift in the voting pattern in the country now. He should realize that, for now, winning election in Nigeria does not start and end with throwing of money and instigated public disturbance, rather it has to do more with performance, intellectualism, connection with the people and trust as well as confidence of people in their leaders who is serving of willing to serve. If the former Senator, has all of these, he should please depict them, sit back and then watch the outcome.

Finally, as Obanikoro is about to drop his letter, President Goodluck Jonathan must add his voice to the need for one of his boys – ? (Koro, I don’t know if he is) to appreciate a peaceful election campaign and stand by it. This appeal I know can only be shared by Mr. President, provided the must win mentality by all means is lacking. Still, if this thought is thrown to the dust bin, Koro, his party and his superiors should again begin to face with these facts. That if two equally popular candidates compete an election, politicking will eventually determine the outcome.But if  an unpopular candidate competes with another famous, the latter’s failure is surely guaranteed, no matter the level of tricks, violence and politicking deployed. Once again, I hold that the June 21 and August 9 2014 Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections respectively justify these stance.

E – Mail: tjaysuccess10@gmail.com; Twitter: @tajudeen balogun



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