BY RAYYANU BALA
The much awaited All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention has come and gone with Senator Abdullahi Adamu emerging as national chairman through consensus. But this was not without horse-trading, backstabbing, blackmail and misgivings. The question that will keep agitating the minds of many now is what next? Of course, in every contest there must be a winner and a loser. Even though the APC convention in its totality was consensus-based, certainly some must have felt either betrayed or cheated since they were not allowed to test their popularity through voting.
In Nasarawa state for example, many were of the belief that Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura was betrayed and cheated in the process of coming up with a consensus candidate. They believed that if there was any APC stalwart in Nasarawa state that was fit to be adopted as a consensus candidate, that person should be no other than Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
On the other side of the divide, there are also many who are of the opinion that the most appropriate person to occupy the office of the national chairman of the APC is Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Their arguments were that Senator Abdullahi Adamu is the most qualified person to hold the office given his antecedents in politics. They further argued that Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s exposure, boldness and ability to withstand pressures are some of the qualities that put him ahead of other aspirants and conclude that the consensus on Senator Abdullahi Adamu was the best to happen to APC.
In Nasarawa state, we have a strong belief that both Senator Tanko Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu are leaders as well as strong pillars of APC in the state. In the first place, there was nothing wrong for the two gladiators to vie for the position of national chairmanship of the APC. We all consider Senator Adamu and Senator Al-makura as one and the same. Politically, they both wield equal power in APC and the state as well. Both of them are of the same stock-calculative and very experienced in the art of politicking.
But regrettably, the brawl between Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu was getting messier by the day affecting their age long relationship.
For the benefit of hindsight, both Senator Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu have come a long way in their relationship, starting right from the second republic when both of them happened to be in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Senator Abdullahi Adamu first served as old Plateau state’s secretary later chairman of the NPN in the state, after expiration of the tenure of late Sale Hassan, while Senator Al-makura got elected then as state youth leader. They both served on the state executive council (SEC) and national executive council (NEC) of the NPN. The relationship between the duo blossomed and further consolidated as time progressed in their respective lives.
It was on record that both Senator Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu have never shared different political standpoints. Even after the collapse of the second republic and after Senator Al-makura temporarily quit partisan politics to concentrate on his private businesses, the relationship still remained intact and cordial. Even though, Senator Al-makura had his mind and soul off partisan politics after the demise of the second republic nonetheless, his soul was still in the game as he never showed any apolitical tendency; he was always on same page with Senator Adamu when it comes to playing partisan politics. Senator Al-makura never belonged to a political party or shares any political affiliation different from that of Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
When Senator Abdullahi Adamu was in the National Republican Convention (NRC) during ill-fated third republic of General Ibrahim Babangida, Senator Al-makura’s soul was also in the NRC. Equally, during the transition programme of Genaral Sani Abacha, Senator Abdullahi Adamu was in UNCP, Senator A-makura had his soul also in UNCP. When General Abdul-salam Abubakar rolled out his transition programme and with the emergence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Abdullahi Adamu happened to be in PDP, Senator Tanko Al-makura also sided with the PDP and contributed handsomely, in cash and kind, to the success of the party in Nasarawa state.
When Senator Abdullahi Adamu contested for governorship seat of Nasarawa state in 1999, Senator Tanko Al-makura supported him 100 per cent. The second term ambition of Senator Abdullahi Adamu again received 100 per cent support from Senator Al-makura.
In the same vein when Senator Al-makura contested for governorship position under Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, Senator Abdullahi Adamu even though he was then in PDP, still supported Senator Al-makura 100 per cent against the candidate of his party. Since ascension of Senator Al-makura as governor of Nasarawa state, the support of Senator Abdullahi Adamu to Senator Al-makura’s administration had never waned, instead it waxed stronger by the day. The level of respect and cordiality which exist between Senator Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu can only be imagined than described when considering how they relate with each other. Even when Senator Al-makura was seeking for second term, he made Senator Abdullahi Adamu chairman of his campaign council and Senator Abdullahi Adamu gave his very best to ensure Senator Al-makura’s victory.
This relationship between Senator Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu turned the other side, in other words, became soar only in 2018, count -down to the 2019 election when they disagreed in principle on who should occupy Shendam road Government House when the tenure of Senator Al-makura expires. The brouhaha between Senator Al-makura and Senator Adamu climaxed with the setting up of an investigative panel to investigate Senator Abdullahi Adamu on some of the policies and programmes he pursued when he was governor of the state from 1999 to 2007.
Specifically the panel was asked by Senator Al-makura to look into Farin Ruwa Independent Hydropower plant project, Zimbabwean farmers’ project as well as concession agreement of state-owned hotels and other related matters. Even though all these are now history, however, this was how the over five decade relationship between Senator Al-makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu got soured. Since then, things ceased to be the same again, at least in the bottom of their hearts.
Though, in an interview with Journalists at the venue of the convention last Saturday, Senator Al-makura was quoted as giving an assurance that he will support and work with Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the victory of APC, there is still the need for Engr Abdullahi A Sule to convene a Nasarawa APC stakeholders’ meeting to see to total and lasting reconciliation of these two political gladiators. Since all politics are local, let’s not turn Nasarawa state into a battle ground.