For his unalloyed commitment and loyalty, there are calls by political watchers to reward Senator Tanko Al-Makura with the position of APC national chairman. MOHAMMED YANGIDA reports.
Nasarawa state has been the political laboratory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) right from when it was Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) being the only state that nurtured the party to prominence in the midst of other parties. It is on this note that indigenes of Nasarawa and other Nigerians have described Senator Umaru Tanko Almakura who held the party in its hey days as the political first son of President Muhammad Buhari.Al-Makura is a leader that has demonstrated ideological commitment towards improving the party.
His political journey so far
His foray into politics started in 1980 when he emerged as the youth leader of then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the former Plateau state.As youth leader, he automatically became a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party in the Second Republic.Between 1990-1992, he served as the state secretary of the defunct National Republic Convention (NRC) also in old Plateau while actively involved in Real Estate both home and abroad.In 2011 Al-makura became the governor of Nasarawa state on a two-tenure basis and presently a senator representing Nasarawa south. He was the only CPC governor that participated in the 2014 merger talks on behalf of the party.Analysts are therefore of the opinion that as the party searches for a new national chairman, Al-makura has done more than enough by creating enabling environment for APC; therefore, deserves to be rewarded as the next national chairman of the party.Al-makura therefore deserves a lot of accolades for nursing the party that took President Buhari to the APC which is now the party at the helms of affairs in the country.
It could be recalled that among the three main parties that formed the APC, only CPC has not produced the chairmanship seat. It is believed that Al-Makura would be the good bargain considering his rare contributions to the development of the party.”Its first chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, for instance, came from the former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He was followed by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun who was from another lagacy party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). The immediate past national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was also from the defunct ACN. Even the current interim national caretaker committee chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, is a hybrid of the defunct ACN and ANPP, according to analysts.Nasrawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule, while revalidating his APC membership recently at his home town in Gudi demanded special recognition for members of the defunct CPC and Nasarawa state.
Gov Sule restates support
While tracing the history of the emergence of CPC in the state, Governor Sule rallied support for Senator Al-Makura to become the next APC national chairman, adding that, “If Nigeria would be kind to CPC, then Nasarawa state should be the state that should be looked at first.”He emphasized that CPC was the party that took President Buhari into merger, with Senator Al-Makura as the only governor on the platform of the party which led to the eventual emergence of Buhari as the presidential candidate of APC.He said further, “Nigerians should be grateful to CPC for being the party that entered into alliance for the present government in power. Tanko Al-Makura has made Nasarawa state proud by being the only one who presented a party to form the alliance.”Governor Sule specifically thanked Al-Makura for ensuring that the state is part of the history that brought the present administration into power.”Today is history for us in Gudi station and I think for the rest of the life of Gudi station, this is a very special day. Gudi station has always been proud in identifying with distinguished Senator Tanko Al-Makura even when some of us were not in CPC; the architect of modern Nasarawa state, from the time he brought CPC and CPC having the only state of Nasarawa that was used as part and parcel of the alliance that formed the APC. Today, we remained grateful to Al-Makura. “I remember the day of election in 2011. I would not have been in any other political party than the ruling party at that time. So openly, I was in PDP, but my brothers and sisters were voting CPC right in front of me. Gudi was purely a PDP town where our first executive governor, Abdullahi Adamu, came and led us and we continued in that direction until Al-Makura came over and took us to CPC.
…Also Hon Shammah
Also speaking, the state commissioner for information, culture and tourisms Hon Dogo Shammah also described Al – Makura as the political laboratory of the APC who designed the way forward for the success of the party presently enjoyed in the country; therefore deserves to be the next APC national chairman.He said that Al-makura has done so well to be honoured by his party, the APC, adding that his contributions to the party cannot be overemphasized and a clear testimony that he can lead the party to greater heights.He made a passionate appeal for the APC leaders to consider Nasarawa as where the next national chairman should come from.”With the kind of support, concerns and gesture Nasarawa indigenes show to Muhammadu Buhari since it was Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the state deserves more than what it got from the president and the APC therefore, AL-Makura should be rewarded for that.”However, the new chairman and other members of the national executive committee of the party are expected to emerge during the national convention scheduled for June 2021. Indeed, indigenes of Nasarawa state would be delighted if the party would consider Senator Umaru AL-Makura as the next APC national chairman whom they seen as their political icon, mentor and role model.
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Al-Makura pledging further commitment
According to Senator Al-Makura, “Nasarawa state would always be with President Muhammadu Buhari and APC ideologies especially in the economic and political aspirations now and ever. “More has been done and more shall be done as 2023 is coming. We have done it before. We shall always do it again; we are always with you Mr President and our great party, APC.”So we felt it is time to rub minds on how to promote the tenets of democracy in our country. APC is the only salvation in this country by virtue of ethics and principles. We must all join hands to grow democracy and build our nation by being active participants instead.”He however applauded the peaceful conduct of the APC revalidation and registration exercise at his Lungun Wambai polling unit in Lafia, while calling on party members in the state to go out enmasse and register or revalidate their membership in their various polling units across the state.He also encouraged those who are of voting age to participate in the ongoing registration and revalidation exercise, saying, this is an opportunity to those who are not up to 18 years when the last registration was held in 2014 to register.He said the ongoing exercise would also offer the party better opportunity to know those that defected from other political parties to register with the party while describing it as the most fundamental activity of any political party about its membership.He equally advised that anyone who wants to register should be given the opportunity adding, “There should be no discrimination as the objective is to ensure that the party is progressing upward from polling units to all levels of government.Al-Makura therefore commended President Buhari, Governor Abdullahi Sule, national and state executives of the party for providing level playing grounds for all existing and prospective members to exercise their right to register freely without any hindrance.