LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday exclusively gathered that the Wednesday resignations of its national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu and chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, were not unconnected with the plot.
Although Mu’azu, in a letter tendered during the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, cited ‘health grounds’ as the reason for his resignation, credible sources within and outside the Presidential Villa disclosed that the two resignations were orchestrated by President Goodluck Jonathan.
What came as a surprise package for the political watchers was how the former governor of Bauchi State, who had only last week dismissed calls for his resignation and warned that the PDP would be buried if he succumbed to the pressure, threw in the proverbial towel on health grounds.
But unlike him, Anenih, in a one-page letter to Jonathan, hinged his own action on the current state of affairs in the party. He made references to some encounters he had had with Jonathan after the loss of the Presidency where he had asked the outgoing president to take over as BoT chairman. LEADERSHIP Friday has it on a good authority that it was Jonathan who asked the two leaders to resign so that he would reorganise the party after becoming BoT chairman.
According to a Presidency source, Anenih had been asking Jonathan to take over from him because, as the president, no one had a higher responsibility than him, but that Jonathan had declined.
“Shortly after the final announcement of the presidential election result, Chief Anenih in several meetings had been asking Jonathan to take over as chairman, Board of Trustees of the party but each time he was given excuses why he (Jonathan) was not prepared for that,” the source disclosed., “Each time the Leader (Anenih) raised the issue with President Jonathan of the need for him to take
over the leadership mantle of the party by becoming the chairman, Board of Trustees, he (Jonathan) always hinged his excuse on his plan to go outside the country to rest for at least one year.
“But three days ago, some NWC members went to Chief Anenih to tell him that the president wanted him to resign as the BoT chairman to enable him take over the office. But one of them told us that Chief Anenih said he was ready to do so and that he had been telling President Jonathan to let him go but that he was the one saying no. He expressed surprise that the same president was asking NWC members to tell him to resign.”
Another source explained that it was last weekend before Jonathan left for the ECOWAS meeting in Ghana that some of his close allies mounted pressure on him to take over from Anenih if he wanted to remain relevant in the party.
“In fairness to President Jonathan, he caved in to the pressure coming from his close aides telling him not to travel out of the country without taking over the BoT chairman if he wanted to remain relevant in post-2015 politics. That was how the idea of asking Chief Anenih to resign came out.”
On Muazu, another source explained that it was the same Jonathan who mandated him to resign or get ready to be sacked.
“You remember Muazu was boasting that his resignation would put an end to the party; that was the last straw. That was the same thing Alhaji Bamanga Tukur did that led to his sack. It was President Jonathan who asked him to do the right thing last weekend.”
On the fate of other NWC members, one of our sources explained that they would all be given a soft landing through the Ike Ekweremadu-led panel set up by Muazu.
“Their days are numbered, but they would be given a soft landing treatment by asking them to give way to a caretaker committee which would midwive a new convention after the party has overcome the shock of the defeat. Those who are ready to go would be allowed to do so,” the source said.