As much as Mama Asabe is concerned, Senator Tanko Al-Makura should straightforward compete for the number one position of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not just nursing the ambition to pilot the affairs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mama Asabe, a fast food seller, and many other local traders who ply their trade opposite Lafia township stadium, which Al-Makura, a former two-term governor of Nasarawa state, demolished and rebuilt to an ultra-modern standard believe that the current senator deserves to run for the highest office in Nigeria. This is borne out of the fact that considering Al-Makura’s eight years landmark, highly positive and impactful tenures as governor of Nasarawa state, they believe the national chairmanship ambition of the man, whom they describe as the father of the modern Nasarawa state, is a timely and a welcome development that should be given all the necessary support by every segment of Nigeria. This category of Al-Makura’s supporters share the optimism that the contest for the APC national chairmanship is a walk-over for the senator; they believe Al-Makura has all the leadership qualities to redefine leadership as the national chairman of the APC.
To say Al-Makura is highly qualified and suitable to vie for the national chairmanship of the ruling APC is not only succinct but also the best decision of a political juggernaut who many see as one of the loyal allies of President Muhammadu Buhari. In 2011 Al-Makura joined forces with Buhari in the 2011 general elections to become a major teamster of a political movement in the Northern region of Nigeria.
This development led Al-Makura to be unanimously elected as the governor of Nasarawa state. He defeating an incumbent governor of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to become the only governor on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The CPC was one of the major political forces in the country that metamorphosed into APC. The astute qualities of Al-Makura cannot be disputed even by his critics. This is true because the name Tanko Al-Makura rings a bell in Nasarawa state, Nigeria and the world-over. This is based on his humane lifestyle, integrity, honesty, detribalization, generosity, humility, kindness, as well as his earthshaking achievements during his unforgettable eight years tenure as executive governor of Nasarawa state.
For clarity purpose, let me briefly highlight what makes many political pundits and public affairs analysts feel Al-Makura has all the necessary requirements to pilot the affairs of the APC as its national chairman. Historically, it is on record that as far back as 1980 during the first tenure of late President Shehu Shagari, Al-Makura was not only active in the political terrain but was operating as the national youth leader of the defunct NPN.
Records also show that since the creation of Nasarawa state in 1996, no governor has achieved the kind of landmark achievements of Al-Makura who governed the state from 2011 to 2019. His achievements and astute leadership qualities attracted encomiums and earned him numerous awards from local, national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations. His developmental strides range from massive public school establishment and renovations, massive urban and rural roads constructions, to building of market both at rural and urban areas, a very good example is the Muhammadu Buhari International Market at One man Village, Karu local government area, Nasarawa state which many economic experts describe as one of the finest markets in Nigeria built of gigantic edifice of international standard. He also executed billions of naira water projects across all the local government areas of Nasarawa state.
Time will fail me to mention his human empowerment programmes which today is still standing tall in the mind of every citizen of Nasarawa state. To be sincere, Alhaji Al-Makura’s eight years as governor by all development indices transformed Nasarawa state positively both in terms of human and infrastructural development.
This is why many political pundits and analysts believe those whom on daily basis are clamouring for Al-Makura to become the next national chairman of the ruling APC are not only yearning for progressive Nigeria but desiring for a star as Al-Makura. to lead the party. He is renowned as a good leader that has the capacity to turn nothingness into greatness with practical example as the governor of Nasarawa state and even now that he is representing Nasarawa West in the Red Chamber of the NAtiona Assembly.
Again, some political analysts are of the opinion that for equity, fairness and justice, and in view of the fact that the national leadership of the ruling APC has concluded on power shift to the Northern region of Nigeria, in respect to its national chairmanship, Al-Makura, being the major teamster of change in the North, should be the first choice of the ruling APC, considering his consistency, loyalty and trustworthiness.
They also reason that it will be very nice for a sensitive position as national chairman of the APC to rotate among the organs that formed the party in 2013/2014. This is accurate because the pioneer national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, hails from the South-west and the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). His successor, Chief Odigie Oyegun, was also of both the ACN and the defunct ANPP. Chief Adams Oshiomhole, who succeeded Oyegun, is alsi from the then ACN and hails from the South-south.
So, other organs that came together to form the APC apart from Governor Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe state, who is currently piloting the affairs of the party as its interim national chairman, no one from the North has presided over the affairs of the party as its national chairman. In this connection, the best person to be the next national chairman of APC especially now that it has been zoned to the North, is His Excellency Distinguished Senator Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura.
So, for equity, fairness and unity, North Central should be considered to produce the chairman and Al-Makura should be unanimously chosen as the next national chairman of the party so that together we can join hands to build a vibrant and progressive Nigeria.
Hon. Idoma, a political activist and public affairs analyst, writes from Jos, Plateau state.