By Suzan Edeh
AHead of the forthcoming national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) political interest groups in Bauchi State are raising their stakes on the major opportunities available to the zone. Already the position of national chairman which is zoned to the Northeast to which Bauchi belongs, has aroused interest among political stakeholders from the state.
Interest groups in Bauchi are touting the state’s central role in the geopolitical dynamics of the state as a factor to determine the sub-zoning of the office to the state.
Whether the search for the national chairman is narrowed down to the state or not two of the contenders from the state are being touted as among the most qualified from the zone to occupy the party top position.
The two major contenders are the former Governor of Bauchi state, Ahmed Mu’azu and former PDP national vice Chairman and presently, acting national secretary, Dr. Musa Babayo.
A one-time Governor of Bauchi State for eight solid years, Mu’azu is indeed no stranger to the politics of the ruling party. Apart from being a former Governor of the state, Mu’azu was also at one time a very close associate of the serving Governor of Bauchi state, Mallam Isa Yuguda.
He was a key figure in the Jonathan/ Sambo campaign structure in the prelude to the 2011 April presidential election.
The former Governor it was learnt unlike many of his rivals from other states has been carrying out a stealthy campaign with his foot soldiers from across the country carrying out a determined campaign to enthrone him as the new national chairman. He has especially been using the old network from his days as governor to push his case.
At home his good works as Governor are also boosting morale among his supporters that he is fit and proper for the office.
As one of his supporters spoke on the condition of annonimity, Muazu is credited with greatly uplifting the infrastructure of the state.
“If there is any Governor that has impacted Bauchi state, since its creation, it is Ahmed Mu’azu. He has contributed in making what PDP is in Bauchi state today. Most of us who are still his loyalists, know this and there can be no contention, as to whether he is qualified or not, because the records are still speaking in his favour,” he said as he appealed to the people of the state and the entire Northeast to rally round him and give him all the support he needs.
But his chances could well be defined by whatever decision is taken by the incumbent Governor and his successor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda given the bad blood that flowed between the duo in the run up to the 2007 general elections when Yuguda was forced out of the PDP to the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP on whose platform he defeated Mua‘zu’s anointed PDP candidate.
Would Yuguda pay back now, is an issue among political enthusiasts in Bauchi? Besides the old quarrel between the duo is the split in the PDP between Mua‘zu’s supporters and those of Yuguda which is generally described as the division between the old and new PDP.
If Yuguda refuses to back Muazu he could proffer the candidacy of Dr. Musa Babayo as a reason. Though Babayo has risen through the ranks to claim an experience in party politics, the main issue raised against him is that he has of recent not been on ground in the affairs of the party in his native state. Eyes are indeed on Yuguda to see how he would move.
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PDP NAT’L CHAIRMANSHIP: Yuguda faces the Muazu question all over again