In the coming days, governors and other critical stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), will meet to take decisions that will have immeasurable effects on the fortunes of the party.
These are no ordinary times for the APC, especially that, in a short while, specifically by 2023, the party’s leader and talisman, President Muhammadu Buhari, will no longer be on the ballot, after exhausting his two tenures.
It’s common knowledge that the APC was built mostly around the person of President Buhari, whose incorruptible disposition, became a rallying point, particularly for a country devastated by corruption.
Now that President Buhari will be taking to the sidelines, there is every need for the leaders of the party, especially state governors and key stakeholders, to jettison ego and personal interest, and to arrive at decisions that will further strengthen the APC.
President Muhammadu Buhari could be better described as the cement binding the individual political entities that went into a coalition to wrestle power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). With this charismatic personality leaving the political stage in 2023, will look towards reintegration by restrategizing to further solidify the merger?
Indeed, this should be among key issues leaders of the party must consider as the deliberate on the future of the party.
For the APC to continue to wax stronger, there is therefore the need for justice and fairness to all the parties that merged to give birth to the party. This must not be misconstrued as suggesting infighting, but that, at the basis of every endeavour, most particularly in politics, there is need to accomdate every interest for the good of all.
The governors, as well as other critical stakeholders of the of the APC should therefore consider taking decisions that will further unite the party and to forestall anticipated implosion following the departure of President Buhari.
Certainly, opposition political parties are waiting in the wings to cash on any sign of discontent within the ruling party, ready to even undermine the APC through polical intrigues and subterfuge, if only the ruling party fails to puts its house in order.
For these reasons and more, leaders of the APC must think twice and arrive at a collective decision that would further unite and strengthen the party, even as the country gears towards the 2023 general election.
A major agenda to be discussed during these critical days is the zoning of national offices of the party ahead of the next month’s national convention of the party.
Even though the election of the national officials of the party is mostly based on decisions taken by leaders of the party, there is every need for circumspect, in order to arrive at a decision that will reposition the APC.
The North Central geopolitical zone, has remained the backbone of the APC. In the zone, only Benue State belongs to the opposition. The zone has continued to play critical role in the party, with the APC enjoying massive support across the zone.
Not only that, the North Central played a key role leading to the merger that brought about the APC. It was the North Central that provided the only platform for President Buhari to participate in the negotiations leading to the merger.
In the North Central, Nasarawa State was the political laboratory for President Buhari, being the only state controlled by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). In Nasarawa State, a pragmatic leader in the person of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura built the CPC from ground zero, to takeover power from a sitting governor.
Indeed, if President Buhari will be leaving the scene by 2023, it will only be appropriate, fair and just, for the party to elect Senator Al-makura as national chairman of the party. This is not farfetched. Senator Al-makura will be a square peg in a square hole as national chairman of the APC.
With Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura as national chairman of the APC, it will be a natural case of ‘Buhari has gone, Buhari has returned’ if the ideology behind the formation of the party is to be sustained.
Zoning the national chairmaship of the APC to the North Central will ensure inclusiveness, fairness and justice. Electing Senator Al-makura as national chairman of the party, will further sustain the ideology behind the merger that led to the formation of the APC.
Only the owner of a shoe knows where it pinches. Senator Al-makura was part of the negotiations that gave rise to the APC. He was there at the beginning, has been part and parcel of the steady growth of the party and is in pole position to understand how to make the party work to the benefit of all.
At a time like this, with President Buhari on the verge of quiting the political terrain, APC governors and leaders should do the needful, by taking decisions to unite the party by ensuring equity, fairness and justice.
Abare, Secretary, North Central Zone, Coalition of APC Support Groups, writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.