By Ali Abare
The game has begun. The fight will become even more dirty, messier. The stakes are high and certainly some vested interest will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
They can be cunning, smart and above all ruthless, in the pursuit of their ambition. They can go to any length, even deal under the table. They are that desperate.
But they are after the wrong prey. In the end, the hunter will become the haunted, because they will carry the stigma of their failure with them. Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura is a dogged fighter, a man with thick skin against all forms of intimidations and persecution.
As the campaign to occupy the national chairmanship position of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) thickens, the stage is yet set for intrigues and political gameplay. Expectedly, those lacking in acceptance and true leadership capacity, but feel they must occupy the seat, will most certainly, be intimidated by the towering profile of outstanding leaders and politicians like Senator Al-makura. A rugged fighter, who singlehandedly withstood the combined arsenal of both the state and national structures of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), preparatory to his electoral victory back in 2011.
Recall that Senator Al-makura was hunted down, accused of humiliating former president Goodluck Jonathan, when the latter visited Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on official visit, when angry youths stoned the presidential convoy. Al-makura was heavily persecuted and was subsequently summoned and taken to Abuja to answer questions on the conduct of the youths.
Prior to that, the PDP at the state level, ensured that Al-makura was forcefully edged out of contention, when he defied entreaties to drop his ambition to run for the seat of the governor of the state. First, the party made sure any of its member suspected to be loyal to Al-makura, was denied the chance to be nominated as party official and later delegate of the PDP. That was the beginning of the persecution that led him to abandon his aspiration to contest under the banner of the PDP.
Then the Chief Yunana Iliya led state executive council, denied Al-makura nomination form, leaving him with no option than to purchase his nomination form at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
Instead of throwing in the towel, Al-makura took the fight to the next level, when he berthed onboard the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), where against all odds, he finally sacked the then PDP government.
Even after winning his election, Al-makura continued to face relentless persecution, especially from the PDP-dominated state assembly, with the former governor and now lawmaker surviving series of attempts to impeach him. A less dogged fighter would have caved in and even decamp to the opposition PDP in order to save his skin but not Al-makura.
In spite of all the efforts to pull him down, Al-makura triumphed over all the hurdles hurled along his political trajectory, rising in profile and demonstrating his sterling leadership qualities, a leader that is able to exhibit that rare steadfastness and resoluteness while pursuing a determined goal.
Now that he is on another journey of discovery, with his eyes set on the seat of the national chairman of the APC, the same game plan is gradually unfolding. You will ask why it took this long for the petition to be brought against him? Suddenly, there is fears in some quarters because of Al-makura’s growing popularity and acceptability, as the likely candidate to be the next national chairman of the APC.
But like he did in the time past, Senator Al-makura will certainly weather this new storm and still emerge stronger and victorious.
Even though, in his characteristic humility, Al-makura has denied that his recent experience, his invitation to parley with the EFCC, has nothing to do with his aspiration of becoming the next APC national chairman, the handwriting is clear on the walls. There are certain vested interests that are already jittery and feel threatened politically as a result of the rising popularity and acceptability of the former Nasarawa State governor.
Of course, the plan is to seek to tarnish his reputation and to scare him away from achieving his goal. Unfortunately, they are dealing with a celebrated dogged fighter, a shrewd and unscrupulous politician, who will not be daunted by intrigues and political subterfuge. Senator Al-makura will weather the storm and to emerge even more stronger. Yes, Al-makura has developed the rare ability to go through obstacles and never to allow obstacles stand between him and his vision.
For Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, this storm shall pass too!
Abare, a Muckrack Journalist, writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.