For a section of the PDP to go around blaming Adamu Muazu for Goodluck Jonathan’s defeat in the March 28, 2015 election is proof that this body of mainly men and women who have no honor may also be proving itself to be a collection of people who have no brains. GEJ died of a thousand self-inflicted blows and Adamu Muazu is just the fall guy. A review of GEJ’s atrocities against the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians will confirm that to any fair minded person.
PDP is in dire need of a savior to save it from itself during these difficult days before it applies petrol to an already raging inferno. Somebody needs to let PDP know that Goodluck Jonathan lost his re-election bid because he was incompetent, pure and simple. To believe that anyone could have convinced Nigerian voters to re-elect a man who demonstrated on numerous occasions that he was not good enough to be a local government chairman is the classic definition of insanity. Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election long before Adamu Muazu became the chairman of PDP in January 2014 and the candidate himself knows that. But as always, he was still hopeful of remaining in office because he planned to rig the elections and did not anticipate the emergence and devastating role that Mohamadu Jega and his card readers will play in shaping the electoral future of the sleeping giant called Nigeria. He also under estimated the anger of Nigerian voters.
I must disclose at the very beginning that I am a Mohamadu Buhari supporter and an APC sympathizer. I have no likeness or sympathy for PDP and have done the little I could to see its implosion since 1999. So it is really therapeutic to be witnessing the ongoing bickering and allocation of blame among its shameless and corruption tainted leadership, given the heartache, stress and loss of hope and ambition that they bombarded us with since 1999.
As implied at the beginning I am not a member of the APC. I am a Nigerian committed to good leadership and I do not care where it comes from. I am happy that Buhari has been elected but I am quite aware that a viable opposition is needed to prevent the APC from running amok the way PDP did. To this end it is important that PDP does not go into extinction and should be strong enough to form an alliance with smaller parties that will constitute a viable opposition to the APC. Consequently, it becomes imperative for someone outside the PDP who is not bamboozled by its grand illusion of an entitlement to re-election to tell the truth to its face. PDP’s illusion does not only demonstrate its inability to analyze its actions and take corrective measures, it also shows its disrespect and disdain for Nigerian voters and their ability to identify and vote for candidates who will make their lives better notwithstanding the billions of stolen public funds that the PDP spent on a sickening campaign/propaganda aimed at painting their opponents black and confusing the voters at a time when it should have concentrated on issues that are of importance to the electorates.
I am not here to defend Adamu Muazu nor can he get me to defend him because in an ideal political environment the man who became the chairman of PDP in January 2014 ought to have been a couple of years into a long jail term for stealing billions belonging to the poor people of Bauchi state, and only hearing about political developments in jail rather than been tapped to become the chairman of PDP and lead it into the 2015 general elections. That GEJ tapped Muazu to become the chairman of PDP and lead it into the elections demonstrated his incompetence when it comes to putting the right people in the right positions, a trait he demonstrated throughout his regrettable presidency. I will return to the issue of Muazu later in this article and what role, if any, self-preservation may have played in the way he handled the presidential campaign on behalf of PDP in the days just before the elections.
Way back in 2010 it was not Muazu who made the decision to settle Turai Yar Adua and her family to the tune of two billion naira upon the death of her husband, Umaru Musa Yardua, despite all the money that she and her collaborators stole while her husband was sick and in hospital in Saudi Arabia. Nigerian voters remembered this financial recklessness during the 2015 election and punished GEJ for it.
Way back in late 2010 when GEJ entered into an alliance with the north to run for only one term and let a northerner run on PDP platform in 2015, it was not Muazu who made that decision. As much as I disapprove of allowing anyone to run for the presidency on the basis of where he/she comes from rather than competence, GEJ alienated many of PDP’s traditional supporters in the north of the country when he reneged on that agreement. The leadership and the voters from that part of the country remembered this “breach of trust” during the 2015 elections and punished GEJ for it.
When GEJ was dancing “owambe” as the people of northeastern Nigeria were left helpless in the face of Boko Haram onslaught under the mistaken belief that “they are killing themselves,” I do not think he consulted Muazu over a decision that was both demonstrative of his incompetence and provincial credentials as the leader of a nation as diverse as Nigeria. When the fear of losing the 2015 elections finally forced GEJ into action against Boko Haram and the people of the North East saw that Boko Haram could be curtailed they remembered the hell thy have been put through, the loved ones and properties they have lost and voted against GEJ. There was nothing Muazu could do about it! GEJ was reaping the rewards for his unpreparedness to lead Nigeria.
When Deziani Allison-Madueke, NNPC and their private sector collaborators cheated Nigerians out of trillions of naira in fuel subsidy Muazu was nowhere near the PDP chairmanship. GEJ thanked the voters for re-electing him (assuming he actually won the 2011 elections) by raising the price of petrol and thereby taking sides with the fuel subsidy scammers. While Nigerians have borne the brunt of the price increase from day one those who stole the trillions and plunged ordinary Nigerians into increased expenditure were wining and dining with GEJ. Till today no one is in jail for the theft of trillions of naira. Not even one of the cases is close to trial. The Nigerian voters remembered this during the 2015 elections. Adamu Muazu could not do anything about it – he does not have the ability to afflict Nigerian voters with amnesia!
When Stella Oduah spent about $1.4 (at the then exchange rate) to buy two unneeded armor plated BMW’s that could be purchased in the open market for less than $400,000 Muazu was not the person who shielded the minister from prosecution. It was GEJ. As if shielding her from prosecution was not enough, GEJ ensured that she was nominated to represent PDP as a senator. Oduah’s people may have voted for her, other Nigerians remembered the shielding and insult-on-injury nomination during the 2015 elections. There was nothing Muazu could do about it. They punished GEJ for it!
When the then governor of the central bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, raised the alarm about the missing $20 billion and GEJ decided to fire and humiliate him out of office while those who allegedly perpetrated the fraud kept their job’s Muazu was not the person making the decisions. It was GEJ and when it came election time the voters directed their anger at GEJ during the 2015 elections.
GEJ knew or out to know that the votes from the Niger Delta alone were not enough to give him even a quarter of Nigeria’s presidency if there was anything like that and yet he allowed people like Edwin Clarke, Mr. Oritsejafor (I do not consider him a pastor), Asare Dokubo and others to threaten war on other Nigerians if they did not re-elect him, Muazu was not the one who failed to call these elements to order. At those crucial moments and throughout his presidency GEJ conducted himself as if he got into office through the votes of Niger Deltans only. Well, the voters who were dared to reject GEJ and face the consequences did just that during the 2015 elections. And I dare say Edwin Clarke, Oritsejafor, Asare Dokubo and company will fade into oblivion, hopefully after returning their loot. Buhari and the Nigerians who voted for him are capable of taking them on if they continue in their grand illusion. They talk of a conspiracy to get GEJ out of office as if every election is not a conspiracy. If they knew GEJ needed other Nigerians to get re-elected how come they were riding roughshod over the same Nigerians? Hopefully others will learn from this nonsense.
When Nigeria was losing approximately 440,000 barrels of oil a day or 20% of the daily oil production to those who were receiving billions in federal payments to stop the same crime it was not Muazu’s responsibility to call them to order. It was GEJ’s but what did he do? He closed his eyes while the nation bled in the face of excruciating global economic difficulties. On March 28, 2015 Nigerians voted for a leader who will stop the theft of their resources.
When GEJ’s wife constituted herself into a nuisance and Nigerians complained it was not Muazu’s job to call her to order. It was GEJ’s but just like he abdicated every responsibility attached to his office while enjoying the perks, he buried his head in the sand along with his fedora hat and played the ostrich. The traders who lost millions because Lagos roads had to be closed because of her uninvited visits remembered these assaults during the 2015 elections and voted for a candidate whose wife’s presence in their city will not constitute a nuisance and threat to their businesses and survival.
When Nigerian banks and their controlling officers robbed the banks of deposits running into trillions and threatened the security of the banks and the economy and forced the country to spend trillions stabilizing these banks while the thieves flew around the world in private jets, GEJ was the one parading himself as the president, not Muazu. Come 2015 elections Nigerians voted for a man who will not treat Jim Ovia, Tony Elemelu, Cecilia Ibru and others as the adult terribes of Nigeria’s banking industry but one who will treat them as common thieves in possession of billions of dollars of our commonwealth that should be returned forthwith. Before they go up in temper tantrums I challenge them to match the growth in their wealth with proof of their income tax payments over the years. No backdated payments please! I hope Buhari will ask for these tax returns from all those “boys” who are too happy to be on Forbe’s list of billionaires. The rubber must be made to meet the road!
When government officials and dubious businessmen in Nigeria created the fastest growing market for private jets in the world, Muaza was not the one hosting them. It was GEJ. When Aso Rock voted N1Billion for food at a time when the average Nigerian was living on less than $1 dollar a day, GEJ was in charge, not Muazu. When Deziani Allison-Madueke constituted herself into an empress and spent N10Billion servicing an aircraft at a time when Nigerians were dealing with excruciating economic conditions, Muazu was not the president. GEJ was. At a time when contractors collected billions in payments and just disappeared without even pretending to do the jobs, GEJ was the president, not Muazu. Voters remembered all these atrocities during the elections and duly punished the Ali Baba. It is now up to the president-elect to make sure that the forty thieves all end up where they belong – Kirikiri Maximum Security Jail – with hard labor.
When a minister tricked hundreds of thousands of unemployed Nigerian graduates into paying to apply for non-existent immigration jobs and tens of them lost their lives in a shabby nationwide screening exercise, the person Nigerians called upon to order a refund of the application fees was GEJ, not Muazu. As always, GEJ sided with the thieves, they kept the billions and over 750,000 applicants were out there angry. They laid ambush for GEJ and on March 28, 2015 they finished him off. Should anyone be surprised? It is my hope that Buhari will order the immediate refund of the application fees once he assumes office.
The list continues and the above enumerated represent a drop in the bucket in terms of GEJ’s atrocities against the people of Nigeria.
Now back to the 2015 PDP presidential campaign, Adamu Muazu’s role in it and the others who finally made GEJ’s dream of political humiliation come true. At a time when serious observers of political developments in the country were coalescing around the view that the emergence of APC in 2013 and the possibility of a Mohamadu Buhari candidacy will result in a presidential election that will center on the winning candidate’s ability fight corruption, GEJ went and appointed a man, Adamu Muazu, who was under investigation for the theft of N19.8 Billion from the Bauchi State coffers. As if that was not enough, he followed it up by appointing as the spokesperson of his campaign, Femi Fani-Kayode, another shady and unbalanced character facing federal fraud charges for defrauding the Aviation Ministry. There is a Bini parable that if your wife is accusing you of cheating on her, the last place you want to be seen going into is Ugbague – Ugbague is the area in Benin City, Edo State where anyone one can go pick up a prostitute for pay. At a time when the specter of a Buhari candidacy that will be launching anti-corruption tomahawk missiles at GEJ was looming like the sword of Damocles over the political landscape and Nigerians were showing signs of wear and tear over the effects of corruption on their lives, GEJ allowed a shady character under investigations to lead his campaign and another one to be its spokesperson. Does this show evidence of a man who was serious about leveling with Nigerians and getting them to vote for him? I will let you decide!
When vuvuzelas Ayo Fayose and company where advertising the potential death of candidate Buhari, a retired general and former head of state, and calling him unprintable names, they were doing GEJ’s bidding, not Muazu’s. When GEJ’s wife who is not even deserving of having her name mentioned here constituted herself into a nuisance and was insulting candidate Buhari what did GEJ do? He supported his wife. Who was it who ran around the country like a headless Christmas chicken distributing bribes in dollars, putting pressure on the local currency and partly forcing its devaluation and further making lives difficult for Nigerians, GEJ it was.
Adamu Muazu is a man under investigation for a huge fraud running into billions. He could very well end up doing a long jail term under Buhari’s government. He had every reason to want GEJ to win because that was the only way he could remain free and GEJ may have appointed him PDP chairman for this reason as he had a way of putting the corrupt under investigation and then getting them to do his bidding. So the man Muazu could not have logically envisaged or supported a Buhari presidency. However, when it became clear that GEJ was determined to lose the election by constituting himself into Buhari’s best spokesperson because of the implicating answers he gave to answers, Muazu may have, out of self-preservation decided not to antagonize a potential Buhari presidency by not joining the other attack dogs like Ayo Fayose and Olusegun Mimiko. When you look at a lot of the governors and other officials who could not deliver their constituencies to GEJ, they are mainly people who are either going to jail for stealing public funds or other malfeasance or be made to cough out the money in one way or the other. One is therefore forced to ask why they would want Buhari to win? The truth is that the card readers gave voters voice and they whipped GEJ’s backside. According to Buhari “it was not the first time you (v0ters) voted for me, it is the first time they have allowed the votes to count.” Uum!
As corrupt as GEJ’s government was going into the elections it had no contingency plan to deal with Buhari’s anticipated anti-corruption onslaught. Honestly, it did not surprise me because until the last minute (remember the Orubebe drama at the collation centre?) GEJ and PDP had plans to rig the elections. He made a lame attempt to defend himself against numerous charges of corruption and peddled a record of job creation that even Harry Houdini would have been scared to conjure up. He commissioned electricity generating plants that had no gas supply. To Nigerians, GEJ and his government became chronic and irredeemable liars going into the elections.
APC is not a party of saints but the difference is that the presence of Buhari in their midst and his preparedness to punish even his children for transgression will bring sanity to it. Moreover, it has not had one out of the 16 years PDP had in power. Nigerians are prepared to take a chance on the unknown because the known has become too toxic. For PDP, the rot was crying up to the high heavens. After 16 years of sheer arrogance of power and impunity, every kind of criminal imaginable had risen to a position of authority under PDP. The party never talked about corruption, it never talked about actual performance, it had no internal disciplinary machinery in place, and was not beholden to anyone, including the voters.
GEJ’s defeat in the 2015 presidential elections was just rewards for his incompetence and betrayal of the Nigerian people. To be fair to GEJ, he was just not prepared for the job and he admitted that much to the Americans in the cables that were released by Wikileaks. Although he should not have even found himself anywhere near Aso Roack, I think Obasanjo got him into the vice-presidency believing that he would have time to learn and prepare but Yar Adua’s untimely death changed the equation.
In order to survive the ongoing implosion and remain a viable opposition party, the PDP must immediately start to speak the language that Nigerians want to hear. The language of transparency, honesty, anti-corruption, accountability and competence. The lies and fabrications will no longer fly with Nigerians. To this end I think Oliseh Metu, Adamu Muazu, Femi Fani-Kayode and the other leaders of the party should be asked to go not because they cost GEJ the election because they did not; but because they have become the face of the sleaze called PDP. Their presence irritates Nigerians. You cannot be erecting a foundation based on honesty and accountability and then hire crooks as bricklayers and foremen. A word is enough for the wise.