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Adamu Muazu

Barring any last-minute change in plan,  the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will, at its National  Executive Committee meeting on Monday (today), ratify a former governor  of Bauchi state, Adamu Muazu, as its new national chairman, party and  presidency sources have said.The usually reliable sources told  PREMIUM TIMES early Monday morning that Mr. Muazu emerged the consensus  candidate for the job after a rash of meetings involving President  Goodluck Jonathan, PDP governors and other influential chieftains of the  party, including Vice President Namadi Sambo and President of the  Senate, David Mark.Mr. Muazu, who will now replace Bamanga  Tukur, who was forced out of office Thursday, emerged ahead of Minister  of Transport, Idris Umar, a former Minister of Commerce, Idris Waziri,  former Acting National Secretary of the party, Musa Babayo, a former  party spokesperson, Ahmed Rufai Alkali   and a former minister of the  Federal Capital Territory, Ibrahim Bunu, who were all widely reported to  have jostled for the position.A party source familiar with the  maneuverings and negotiations that threw up Mr. Muazu said President  Jonathan actually preferred Minister Umar for the position but was  outfoxed by governors from the North-East geopolitical zone who all  rooted for Mr. Muazu.When Mr. Jonathan tried to insist on Mr.  Umar, insiders say, the North-East governors reminded him of how they  deferred to him two years ago when he insisted on Mr. Tukur for the  position in spite of massive opposition from the zone.Our sources said Bayelsa state governor,  Seriake Dickson, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, and President  of the Senate, Mr. Mark, joined the North-East governors in pushing that  position.They reportedly warned the president  against foisting an unpopular candidate on party members to avoid a  repeat of the Tukur situation where the party was perpetually  in crisis  throughout his reign.Mr. Muazu, 55, was among candidates who contested for the PDP chairman position in March 2012.In a zonal congress election conducted  by the North-East PDP in Bauchi to choose a consensus candidate for the  zone at the time, Mr. Muazu got only one vote to place last.Mr. Babayo got 14 votes  to defeat other  contenders. Mr. Tukur, who was clearly the president’s anointed  candidate for the position at the time, got four votes.Former Ministers Bunu and Shettima Mustapha scored 2 votes each while Mr. Alkali , just like Mr. Muazu, scored only one vote.Mr. Muazu and corruptionIn November 2013, President Jonathan appointed the former Bauchi governor chairman of the Nigerian Pension Commission, PENCOM.He was appointed to the position even  though he is still being investigated for graft by the Economic and  Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly looting N19.8billion  belonging to his state while he was governor between 1999 and 2007.The former governor has consistently denied any wrongdoing but he is yet to be cleared of the allegation.

The civic group, Transition Monitoring  Group, protested the appointment at the time, saying it was morally  wrong for the president to appoint a man being tried for corruption to  such a high office.Mr. Jonathan and the National Assembly disregarded that position and proceeded to clear the former governor for the position.The TMG statement at the time reads in  part, “The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, is astonished and peeved by  this move of the President, especially in the light of the fact that  the former Governor is yet to be cleared by the Economics and Financial  Crimes Commission, EFCC, of the corruption charges he is facing for  allegedly defrauding the coffers of Bauchi State to the tune of  N19.8billion when he was Governor of the State,” the group said in a  statement on Monday.“This and other similar acts of Mr.  President, particularly his penchant for surrounding himself with famed  corrupt individuals, makes his government’s so-called anti-corruption  efforts a laughing stock, for it is patently obvious from his  antecedents that President Jonathan endorses corruption.“The EFCC is investigating Mr. Mu’azu  for allegedly stealing billions of naira belonging to Bauchi State  during his term as governor between 1999 and 2007.Other names forwarded  to the Senate for confirmation as Commissioners of PENCOM include  Chinelo Anohu-Amazu (South East), Reuben Omotowa (North Central),  Mohammed Ka’oje (North West), and Adesojo Olaoba-Efuntayo (South  West).But the group said that appointing Mr. Mu’azu to head the  commission is in line with his practice of shielding corrupt  individuals.“TMG recalls that in the heat of the  corruption charges against the same Mu’azu Adamu, President Jonathan  appointed him in 2011 as Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Maritime  Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),” said the statement signed by  Ibrahim Zikirullahi and Eddy Ezurike, the group’s Chairman and  Publicity Secretary respectively.“It was with the President’s nod that  Business Mogul, Mike Adenuga and his wife, Titi Adenuga in late 2010  walked free from the EFCC charges they were facing for reportedly  collecting bribes from Siemens officials; and it was this same attitude  of Presidential Romance with alleged corrupt individuals that enabled  controversial Lawyer, Dele Oye to walk scot free from EFCC charges of  allegedly acting as front for the defunct Oceanic Bank CEO, Cecilia  Ibru; and aiding her to loot tens of billions of Naira in Bank assets.“The Nigerian people of course will not  forget in a hurry how this same President granted presidential pardon to  a notorious convicted corrupt former Governor and his kinsman, DSP  Alamieyeseigha, and other criminals, including a paedophile.“Those who recently looted the Police  Pensions Board, including its former Director are yet to be brought to  book. The list is endless; yet Jonathan’s regime talks about fight  against corruption. The attitude of Mr. President in recycling corrupt  individuals in public places is worrisome and does not inspire  confidence at all.“In fact, on issue after issue, he has  shown that he will never combat corruption but will rather aid, abet and  shield corrupt officials.“The group called on President Jonathan  to withdraw, immediately, Mr. Mu’azu’s nomination and take “creative  steps” to rebuild confidence and imbue confidence in the anti-corruption  war.“This is the only pathway to redemption, prosperity and development in this country.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

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