Like their peers in the other 35 states and the FCT, delegates of our darling party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Nasarawa state will soon elect officials that will run the affairs of the party. Even though aspirants for the different positions are currently campaigning and seeking all the support they can garner, the focus is solely on the chairmanship position.
Emphasis is on the chairmanship position because whoever emerges as the chair has the tendency to make or mar the fortunes of the party. This explains the anxiety of party members leading to calls on those saddled with the responsibilities to ensure that the most competent, credible and capable emerges as the chairman.
So far, the caretaker chairman, John Mamman; the APC secretary in the state, Aliyu Bello, and the Executive Secretary of Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hon David Ogwole Ayewa, are contesting for the position of chairman.
Expectedly, the three of them have been engaged in extensive pushing apparently to win the support of party stakeholders and delegates who will vote during the congress.
It is clear that the APC is rooted in Nasarawa state having been in power in the state for over seven years since the era Umaru Tanko Al-Makura government.
Indeed, nothing underscores the fact that the state is home to APC more than the continued influx of stakeholders of opposition parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, into it.
As a committed member of the APC, I believe that we need a leader who will manage the diversity in the party to further position it for greater victories in future polls. Essentially, therefore, the delegates who will elect officers of the party at the state congress must look at the credibility, integrity and experience of candidates vying for the coveted seat of the party’s chair as such factors are necessary to building a virile party.
There is no contesting the fact that only persons with sufficient experience, credibility, integrity and political influence should be elected for the benefit of the party in the state. Like most members, I think what the party needs is a chairman with requisite vision, foresight, vast experiences, credibility and courage to take charge of party affairs.
Our focus is on both the forthcoming council elections in the state and the 2023 polls, which the party must win. Therefore, we must go for a bridge-builder who must be a tested grassroots politician who will galvanise the members and garner more support for the party.
As observed earlier, John Mamman, Aliyu Bello and David Ayewa are contesting. But who does the cap fit? Mamman, a seasoned civil servant who rose through the ranks to the enviable position of a permanent secretary in Nasarawa state before his retirement, was TMC chairman of Kokona LG. Until his appointment as the state caretaker committee chairman of APC in December, 2020, he was special adviser to the governor on local government, chieftaincy affairs and community development.
Bello, APC secretary in the state, worked with Nigeria Standard Newspapers, Jos before venturing into politics where he served as councillor for Gayam Ward in Lafia.
David Ayewa who is the executive secretary of Nasarawa state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, has over three decades experience in politics including serving variously as elected council chairman for Obi LG and state chairman of the defunct Grassroots Democratic Movement.
A careful analysis of these candidates showed clearly that the man that has what it takes to reposition the party is David Ayewa. Ayewa’s experience as a grassroots politician is unprecedented and having him as the state party chairman will strengthen the party for more victories in future elections.
Indeed, his vast experience spanning decades of political engagements, puts him in a vantage position and if entrusted with the responsibility of leading the party, there will be remarkable progress because he is a strategist who will deploy, as always, his skills of good political strategies for the party’s benefits.
Without being immodest, Ayewa possesses the qualities and credibility of a leader who can pull every member of the party together for electoral victories. There is no point reasserting the fact that the Nasarawa APC requires a man of vision, foresight and courage to take charge of its affairs as the party cannot afford to experiment.
Perhaps this understanding informed the call by many stakeholders of the party on the delegates to be circumspect as they file out to cast their votes and bend the arc of history towards the direction that will engender a better APC for a better Nasarawa state.
Fahad writes from Sabon Pegi, Lafia, Nasarawa state.