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By Ali Abare
Senator Tanko Al-Makura, Front-line Chairmanship Aspirant of APC
The clamor by the state chairmen of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for their block to produce the next national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was not only timely but justifiable.
Looking back at the history of the merger that led to the emergence of the APC and subsequent leadership of the party, till date, the CPC-block, which was integral to the formation of the APC, is yet to produce the national chairman of the party.
From Chief John Odigwe Oyegun, to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and now, Mallam Mala Buni, all the national chairmen of the party were produced by either the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) or All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) blocks of the APC.
The CPC-block is yet to produce the national chairman of the APC.
Of course, this is understandable when viewed against the backdrop that the CPC-block produced the President, in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. For this reason, it may be argued that it was actually not necessary for the block to also produce the national chairman of the party.
However, with his two tenures coming to an end in 2023, it has become imperative that the CPC-block is given the chance to produce the next national chairman of the APC. This will not only ensure justice and fairness, but will fill the anticipated void in terms of equitable distribution of offices especially among the major political actors that merged to give birth to the ruling party.
It will amount to a stab in the back, if per adventure, the leaders of the APC chose to ignore this genuine agitation for fairness and justice and instead go ahead to do otherwise. There should be determined and calculated efforts aimed at concretizing the bond between the parties involved in the merger.
This way, every member of the alliance will have a sense of belonging, especially that by 2023, it is to be expected that the ACN-block will provide the president of the country.
For the former state chairmen of the defunct CPC, their choice of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, as their candidate for the position of the national chairman of the APC, is not only apt but a testimony of the organizational and leadership acumen of the former Nasarawa State governor.
Even after several years of willingly giving up on their political identity, to integrate themselves into the alliance, the former CPC state chairmen, still recall the tremendous role Senator Al-makura played leading to the emergence of the APC.
They are therefore justified in their agitation and clamour for their own to occupy the seat of the national chairman of the APC. Their demand is appropriate, timely and indeed justifiable. More so and as earlier stated, President Muhammadu Buhari is leaving the scene come 2023. After that, what happens to the CPC-block in the alliance?
Senator Al-makura could best be described as fit to occupy the seat of the national chairman of the APC. He was integral to the alliance, being the only governor elected on the platform of the CPC. He is a political surrogate to President Muhammadu Buhari. Al-makura shares similar political ideology with the President. He has the temperament, pedigree and experience required to foster unity and give purpose to a party like the APC.
Senator Al-makura has been variously tested while growing from the youth leader of the then NPN, to being a member of the constituent assembly, to being a state governor and presently a senator of the Federal Republic.
He has also been variously tested with national assignments by the national secretariat of the APC, be it in Ekiti State, or reconciliation efforts in the six states of the Northeast. In all of these national assignments and more, Senator Al-makura has distinguished himself as an achiever having delivered his responsibilities effortlessly and exceptionally.
It’s in this regards, that the agitation by former state chairmen of the rested CPC, is welcomed and highly appreciated. The national leadership of the APC must consider this clarion call as sacrosanct and a call to justice and fairness, which will further serve to foster unity and sense of belonging among members of the alliance that berthed the APC.
Abare, a Muck Rack journalist, writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.