Not a few Nigerians are aware of President Muhammadu Buhari’s thorny and tortuous road to the presidency.
It was strewn with all forms of treachery, perfidious subversion and insidious double-crossing. He contested the presidential elections three times and three times he was shown the exit gate; not by the ordinary people who wanted him badly but the mafioso political establishment which held the levers of power. Only a few world leaders, like former President Abdullahi Wade of Senegal and Abraham Lincoln of America, had gone through this harrowing debacle.
In the case of President Buhari, it became so bad that, when it seemed his time had come, he was nearly bombed out of existence.
The forces which were determined to keep him out of the presidency, persisted in their betrayal and back biting, so much that he had to break down on national television while trying to pull out altogether from politics. This is because, at that point it appeared that his presidency would never be, but, as the saying goes, “God’s time is the best”; and here it is.
In President Buhari’s convoluted journey, there were definitely a few people who believed in him, who understood his ideology and principles, believed in his dream and trusted his judgement. They took the risk by investing in his dreams and endured to the end.
They were not political opportunists or “food is ready” politicians but highly educated, privileged and hard working Nigerians with genuine interest in freeing the country from its paralysing and debilitating underdevelopment. Teaming up with Buhari, they believed that Nigeria cannot only be salvaged from the brink of its descending abyss but also, the country can indeed have a new beginning under some patriotic and determined leaders.
Among these few great men is Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura. Not only does he totally believe in the president, Al-Makura had also experienced the pains of tutelage and rejection. He remained resolute behind the president. He is the quintessential protege and loyalist, who totally trusts the famous General. In their turbulent political journey, many fell away and became rallying points for the opposition, but Senator Al-Makura stayed on.
From PDP to CPC and to the merger, he strongly believed that he was on the right course. His efforts, and those of other lieutenants, culminated in securing the Nasarawa state governorship and ensured that Buhari did not go to the merger table empty handed. He provided his own party, the defunct CPC, a big prize for bargain. But after the merger, he stepped back and settled for a lower role in the Senate. What can be more ennobling and dignifying than this?
Now, President Buhari is winding down his national assignment, to take on his ultimate role as father of the nation. Like a script writer or film director, he will sit aside and watch others acting his scripts. Expectedly, he must produce the actors from those who have watched him over the years, to ensure competence and continuity.
The president is stepping aside and bequeathing to the nation very high standards of integrity, selfless service and patriotism. Only the man who has worked and watched him through the years can fit this bill. And, this is why President Buhari’s much touted support and admiration for Senator Al-Makura is obvious and justified.
If this is the same president that has been needlessly accused of not rewarding loyalty in the past, then this is the right time to dispel this insinuation and reward Al-Makura for his loyalty over the years. This is the best moment to point to the man who will continue his legacies. The Distinguished Senator and former Governor of Nasarawa state has proved over the years, without any shred of doubt, that he is loyal, trustworthy and consistent in his support for the president and his ideals.
As the day for the APC national convention draws near, we are beginning to see evidence of mischief and sabotage, in a manner which clearly shows that some people are trying to “throw spanners in the works”. They are not interested in continuing the legacies of the president but closing the lid on them. They want to turn the page all together and chart a new adventurous course to the detriment of the country. Some of these opportunists, who are latter day joiners, want to seize and fustrate the smooth transition process for both the party and oresidency to create a needless confusion.
They don’t believe in the natural course of events but their own political chicanery. It is obvious from the president’s body language on what or who he wants. But, the continued horse trading, zoning and rezoning or micro-zoning is only meant to create confusion and distract party supporters in an attempt to impose a strange new order. Al-Makura has already emerged as the most preferred candidate nationwide.
With his impressive credentials and incomparable experience in politics and administration, where is the justification for the endless permutations and hassle over the choice of our national chairman? If a marathon race is nearing the finishing line and a clear winner is coasting to victory, and you blow the whistle for a restart, then it is nothing other than injustice, wickedness and lack of sincerity. This is the perfidy some people want to introduce into this race.
Al-Makura has proved over the years that he is a team player. He has no enemies to fight. He is one of the only two former governors not fighting their successors and, interestingly, he has not only been endorsed by the entire party structure in his state but also being sponsored by his own governor. All elected political leaders from Nasarawa state are also solidly behind Al-Makura except one man who appeared to have stepped in and offered himself as a fall guy to the ordorous plots to stop Al-Makura. Not only will it end in disgrace for the man but also exposes an ignominious political career heading for self destruction. This should not be a problem for Al-Makura or any progressive member of the APC in the vountry. By God’s grace, Distinguished Senator Al-Makura will be next chairman of the APC.
Atimas, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja.