By Ali Abare
Baring last minute changes, the long awaited national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is billed for February 26. According to the schedule of activities released by party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) at its 19th regular meeting on Wednesday 19th January, 2022, the APC national convention is slated to hold on February 26.
The CECPC assured all members of the party and Nigerians that it is ready to meet up with its tasks ahead in 2022, especially the conduct of the party’s national convention, stressing that it would certainly bequeath a truly progressive party and structure that will continue to install and sustain APC governments at various levels, aimed at taking Nigeria to the promised land.
Already and as the party gears towards the February 26 national convention, there were permutations suggesting where the party may zone the seat of its national chairman. Though there is no official statement on that for now, feelers from critical stakeholders within the party, indicate that two stalwarts of the party, all from the North Central, have been identified as being capable of emerging as the next national chairman of the party.
Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, former governor of Nasarawa State and the lawmaker representing Niger East, Senator Sani Musa are believed to be favoured by the leadership of the APC to emerge as the national chairman of the party.
With the recent turning down of the direct primary option for the party, the APC constitution allows for the adoption of the delegate system or concensus to elect its national leaders, with no fewer than 4509 delegates expected to be accredited for the convention.
Ahead of the convention, judging from the already identified aspirants touted to be favoured to emerge, the party may have finally settled for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) block, as well as the North Central geopolitical zone, to produce the next national chairman of the ruling party.
Since the formation of the party in 2013, however, the APC has established a precedence in electing its national chairman. From the era of the first national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigwe Oyegun, to the immediate past chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, all have been former governors.
Thus, it needs no telling that the contest between Senator Al-makura, a former governor and Senator Sani Musa who represents Niger East at the upper chamber of the national assembly, may after all be a one-horse race, with Senator Al-makura having an edge because of his position as a former governor.
Certainly, the APC stands to grow from strength to strength, with a personality and consummate politician like Senator Al-makura as its national chairman. Al-makura was governor of Nasarawa State twice. He was able to successfully rally support from the people of the state, using the then nondescript CPC as platform, to wrestled away power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He has tremendous experience in managing both people and resources and is well connected across the length and breadth of the country. Senator Al-makura will serve as a bridge and to effectively unite the APC ahead of the 2023 general election.
Senator Al-makura through the years, has established a network of former colleagues, his present colleagues at the national assembly and being a founding member of the APC, has remain loyal,dedicated to projecting the core values of the party.
For these reasons and more, it is safe to proclaim that Senator Al-makura is coming and that the lines are indeed falling in pleasant places for a politician who knows his onions and who is well prepared, equipped to provide effective and efficient leadership for the APC.
Abare is the Secretary, North Central Zone, Coalition of APC Support Groups. He writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.