By Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande
Now that it is almost certain that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will zone the position of the national chairman to the North, it is imperative for all lovers of the party to, on the basis of equity and justice, push for the North Central geopolitical zone to take the slot.
This is because the Northcentral is the only geopolitical zone from the region that is yet to be given a major stake to add value to the party.
The North West already has produced a capable president in the person of President Muhammad Buhari while the North East has the Senate President in the person of Ahmed Lawan.
Zoning the position of the national chairman to the North Central would therefore enable the zone contribute its quota towards building the fortunes of the party.
We, from the North Central zone in the bid to complement the competence of the President, the Vice President, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and others who have done well for our party, are sensitive to the demands of that office.
Hence we should be careful not present a weaker link in the strong ensemble already put together by the party by supporting a candidate that may not fit into vision of the party as driven by these great men.
It bears emphasis that what the APC needs now is an experienced hand, a stabilizing force and matured mind that can hold the party together and work out a winnable strategy ahead the 2023 general elections
I have suggested in the past that because we have no time, this is not the time to start scouting for candidates by using trial and error methods.
We can only do that if we are lacking in persons with the qualities and potentials to drive our dreams.
But that should not be the case as we already have in our hands one of the most experienced and tested persons to do this job very well.
The APC must learn from both its past experiences and the experiences of other parties in taking the bold decision on who will lead the party.
We have witnessed how during the Second Republic, the personality of the national chairman of the party galvanized support and vigour for the party.
It is said that in the NPN days, its national chairman, Meredith Adisa Akinloye was able to ensure party discipline and loyalty because of his background and experience in politics, while in the days of the NRC and SDP articulate and experienced politicians like Babagana Kingibe and Tom Ikimi helped a great deal in shaping the fortunes of their party.
We should learn from the recent experience of the opposition PDP which is still groping in the dark.
The APC cannot afford to toe that line which result is failure.
This was why I suggested Senator Tanko Almakura as the cut out choice for the national chairman of the APC.
Recall how Almakura was able to defeat an incumbent using the platform of a nascent party, the CPC to become governor of Nasarawa State.
For those of us who have been in politics for a while, we know that defeating an incumbent which has the support of the central government at the state level is a herculean task.
We know that achieving such a feat requires more than an average level of political coordination and planning which I must say Senator Almakura has in abundance.
He has exhibited maturity in politics and has succeeded in uniting all the major politicians in Nasarawa State to speak with one voice.
His penchant for planning and meticulous execution is well known and has contributed in making the North Central zone a hub for the APC.
If Almakura can do that from a not so pronounced background, I leave you to imagine what he can do if given the nationalchairmanship of the ruling party.
Yes, it is true that the APC has won two major elections in the country but it cannot afford to be complacent.
It would amount to burying our heads in the sand if we say that the APC has reached a stage where it can be placed on auto pilot mode.
The party has more work to do now that it will be presenting a fresh candidate for the president and many governorship and other positions.
We cannot afford to have a national chairman who can be intimidated or cajoled into taking decisions. We don’t want a candidate who wants to learn on the job, we want a chairman who will hit the ground running and I have no doubt in my mind that Senator Almakura will do just that.
Nakande, former minister of state for information and communication, writes from Abuja