The All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to receive a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmad Adamu Mu’azu, Daily Trust learnt from multiple sources yesterday.
This is coming on the heels of defection to the APC by the suspended PDP National Deputy Chairman, Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa, Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu, a close ally of the former governor and other PDP chieftains.
Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi State had been out of Nigeria for over three years until December 2018 when he returned and gave out his daughter in marriage.
The wedding ceremony was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other top APC leaders including Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar. PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar also graced the event.
Thereafter, Mu’azu visited Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, December 19, but declined to speak with State House correspondents after the over two hour meeting.
The meeting held amid speculations that the former PDP national chairman was on his way to joining forces with APC, following reports that he was being wooed by the party ahead of the general elections.
Buhari lead’s APC N’East zonal rally
Daily Trust learnt Mu’azu is likely to be received during APC North East zonal rally scheduled to hold in Bauchi at the weekend. President Buhari will lead the rally.
The president had received top politicians from the North East including a Second Republic governor of Borno State, Mohammed Goni, who defected to the APC on Monday.
Daily Trust reports that in the 2015 presidential election, Buhari got 931,598 votes as against 86,085 scored by then President Goodluck Jonathan in Bauchi State.
‘We have routed PDP in Bauchi’
When contacted, the Bauchi State APC Organising Secretary, Lawan Gyan-Gyan, said they had “routed” the opposition party in the state.
“For example, in Bauchi North, we don’t have any opposition. In Bauchi South, the only opposition figure is Adamu Gumba. We have conquered Bauchi North, because the APC has all the political heavyweights from that area in its kitty.
“In Bauchi Central, it is only Senator Abdul Ningi that remains,” he said.
Speaking on Mu’azu, Gyan-Gyan said the APC was aware of what was going on and will not disclose or pre-empt the former governor’s move.
“We are in touch with not only Mu’azu’s people but other people with links to the PDP so that we can easily win the election.
“Mu’azu is a big fish and he is already in our net, God willing. We have very high expectations that he will soon be with us. We cannot categorically disclose that he has joined the party since he has not been seen with the president making the 4+4 sign. But we are confident that he is in our net,” he said.
Mu’azu’s actions sinister – Bauchi PDP
Speaking on the development, the Bauchi State PDP Publicity Secretary, Yayanuwa Zainabari, said the actions of the former governor since his arrival in the country were sinister but declined to say whether Mu’azu had dumped them or not.
“He has not participated in any PDP activity since he came back. And after his daughter’s wedding, we know that he had a closed door meeting with the vice president.
“Our belief was that even his coming back from the country was because he was given clearance by the presidency to come back after the long absence. We are not surprised by the actions of Mu’azu, Gamawa, Kaulaha and others because of the threat of prosecution they are facing from the APC government,” he said.
Zainabari said they also know that Mu’azu’s former deputy, Abdulmalik Mahmoud, was also planning to defect to the APC soon.
Also, PDP leaders in Bauchi said they were aware of the antics of Gamawa long before his suspension.
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Hamza Koshe Akuyam, said Gamawa had been undermining the progress of the party for a long time.
“The likes of Gamawa cannot survive being in the opposition, hence his move to the ruling party,” Akuyam said.
The PDP National Chairman and Publicity Secretary, Prince Uche Secondus and Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan could not be reached at the time of filing this report. The party’s Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Walid Jibrin, however, did not respond to calls from Daily Trust.
But a member of the PDP BoT, Chief Sam Nkire, who spoke to our correspondent last night, said the exit of the PDP former national chairman and others would be not be a threat to PDP ahead of the general elections.
“We are not worried because this movement is not one way. People from the APC are also moving to the PDP and this is the period to experience such movements. But I don’t believe that will affect our chances of winning the presidency and other elections,” he said.
“Those leaving are not leaving with the party’s structure or its fortunes. So we hope to win the elections across board and reclaim power at the centre,” he added.
PDP would regret suspending me – Gamawa
Speaking to State House correspondents, Gamawa, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday night, said his defection had nothing to do with his suspension and that the PDP would regret suspending him.
“I have been saying it, as a politician, I play my politics not blindly. Whenever a thing goes right or wrong I will say it the way it is. As journalists, you are aware of what PDP did today – just because of an allegation they said they have suspended me.
“I want to call on them to check their secretariat. If they are in politics they should know what is happening on daily basis at the secretariat, what comes in and what goes out.
“They should check their mails and they will know the position of Sen. Babayo Gamawa before their action. I have no regret for defecting from the PDP and they (PDP) would regret their action, by God’s grace,” Gamawa said.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, had in a statement on Monday night said that the decision to suspend Gamawa was reached at the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) extra-ordinary meeting held on the 5th of January, 2019.
The party said the meeting, among other things, critically reviewed a petition against Babayo and found him wanting, adding “The NWC found merit in the petition on allegation of dereliction of duty and anti-party activity as contained in Section 58 (1) e, f, g, h of the PDP Constitution.”
On his part, Kaulaha said he defected as a matter of principle adding that he was endeared to APC because of the performance, integrity and honesty of President Buhari.
Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar, who led them to the Villa, expressed happiness with the development, saying “with these two gentlemen, I can go to sleep with my two eyes closed, so to speak.”
In November 2018, a former governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, also joined the APC having dumped the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) which joined after leaving the PDP.
With the latest defection of Gamawa, Kaulaha and other PDP chieftains in Bauchi the APC is said to be consolidating its strength. Gamawa and Kaulaha are from the Northern senatorial district which comprises Katagum, Jama’are, Gamawa, Itas/Gadau. It is an area which is always a factor in Bauchi politics.