The All Progressive Congress (APC) came to be in 2014 after three political parties Congres for Progressive (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were merged.
The ACN was led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ANPP was the current Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu as leader, while the CPC was led by the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Umaru Tanko Almakura who was then a serving Governor of Nasarawa State.
The party came with sound policies and programmes that would have salvaged the country but the party’s dream was short because the forces that are not Almakura-like joined the party through backdoors only to win elections.
The internal functions and ranglings within the rulling party made it to loss elections in Bauchi, Adamawa, Edo and Zamfara states among others apart from many legislative seats both at the states and National Assembly that were dashed away as results of poor handling of the party’s 2018 primaries.
In its bid to retain power in the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria, there is urgent need for the party to look beyond personal interest to set its house by first of all ensuring that credible hand like Almakura is ushered in to lead the party as the next National Chairman.
As a concerned youth who has been in frontline championing the course of APC from the days of its formation and someone who is always at the grassroots level, I can authoritatively say without fear or favour that among those who have indicated interest to vie to lead our party, none among them has given so much to the party like Senator Almakura.
This piece will help in polishing the mind of our stakeholders, millions of members and supporters across the country that APC is emerging very strong but only if the right choice is made during the National convention.
The era of impunity and impossing candidates against the will of the party’s teaming followers is gone, and the time to make hard and only decision that will serve in the interest of the general members even at the least level must be the only way out.
As a member of the rulling party, we are not disputing the fact that all others jostling for the office of the National Chairman are members of the rulling APC and almost all were former governors but yet going through past antecedents of all, certainly Senator Almakura remained the only party option. We must at this critical time where critical decisions are expected to mold and shape our party as we confront the country’s general elections in no distance time.
Preference should be given to party’s founding fathers who in turn has been very intrumental to the formation of the party in 2014 and who subsequently contributed to overwhelming victory that ended People Democratic Party’s 16 years rule in Nigeria.
Beyond any iota of doubt, this is the timely concern in the minds of virtually all genuine APC original stakeholders involved in President Buhari’s struggles for positive change since it’s earliest grassroots formation, as CPC in 2011.
Senator Almakura’s ardent loyalty and dedication to the rulling party cannot be subjected to argument when compared to his fellow contemporaries jostling for the office of the party’s National Chairmanship. It is the time for the party to take wholehearted decision and ensure fact-finding mission among the aspirants who will serve as a leader that will keep our flag flying in Aso Rock and all the 36 States of the federation.
However, following it’s CPC merger with others to form a Mega Party tagged APC, the party became ideologically unwieldy, with so many issues of integrity at stake, which polarised the party followership along irreconcilably- divergent tendencies, which were unfortunate, as well as passively ignored to linger and unsolved.
The recent remarks by the President of the Nigerian Senate Ahmad Lawan that APC may likely collapse after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure is the thinking of experts who projected that the party is currently on oxygen though there are chances of surviving against those predictions only if the right choice is made.
The party currently need a leader who command respect among his contemporaries, a man whose mind is bounded by reconciliatory traits and elder statesman who have paid a price for APC to survive against his personal interest. Almakura is a man who says little but has achieved much. He is the man our party needs to be revive and with a man like him, it will never be a plea bargain where personal interest superceed personal interest.
The emergence of the rulling party from many political parties and subsequent defections at the aftermath of 2015 elections has been identified as some of the reasons why the party failed to implement its initial manifesto to get Nigeria on the right track again. The APC has very sound policies and programmes that are practicable, aimed at changing the fortunes of Nigerians can only be sustained if individuals who shared the party’s traits are allowed to lead as the National Chairman.
On our part as youths who believe strongly in our party have after identifying some of the party’s challenges and one aspirants – Senator Almakura seem to be the only deserving and the only option before the party at the moment.
As the progressive youths of APC that have actively worked and supported His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari through massively, and mobilisation across the 36 states of the federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, we are able to reunite through the formation of ” APC Youth Progressive forum” during the just concluded Progressive Youths Congress (PYC) at the International Conference centre Abuja.
I was among the few privileged APC Youths in Nigeria to be inaugurated as member of Women and Youths Presidential campaign during the 2019 Presidential campaign. It has given me the opportunity to interact with party stalwarts, party leaders, members and our teaming Nigerian Youths across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
Who is Umaru Tanko Almakura?Senator Umaru Tanko Almakura born in 1952 in lafia had his primary education at Dunama (1959-1966) and proceeded to Keffi teachers college Keffi and latter Government teachers college Uyo for Senior Secondary school certificate in 1975. He was an Assistant Producer at the Broadcasting Corporation of Northern Nigeria.
He then went to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1975–1978), graduating with a Bachelors of Education Degree. For his National Youth Service, he was a teacher at the Government College, Makurdi.
He was a governor that emerged in 2011 defeating the seating Peoples Democratic Party Governor late Aliyu Akwe Doma of blessed memory which became a standard for the formation of the current rulling party in 2014. Senator Almakura after successfully Serving for eight years as Governor of Nasarawa State and was elected Senator Representating Nasarawa North.
His consistency in the rulling party and his contributions in ensuring that Buhari led Presidency succeed remain undoubtedly a yardstick for consideration in the fourth coming APC National convention.
The rulling All Progressive Congress is currently been face with similar challenges that brought down the then rulling party the PDP that lost woefully at the 2015 general elections despite controlling political power and the nation resources.
It means Nigerians can only follow the person they trust whom they strongly believe that he is the same with his character. Senator Almakura’s vast experience in government and governance first as governor and now as Senator will in no doubt be added advantage in making the party a single entity. It has been said that the purpose of history is know the past, adjust the present and plan for the future.
Senator Almakura is a living Nigerian politician who always prefer to live inconvenienly and a Buhari-like who always chooses pains rather than living for pleasure.
The track records of achievements, successes and his perseverance defined him as an incurable optimist who see opportunities even in the midst of pandemic rather than seeing obstacles. The traditional and political culture of hijacking the party that belongs to over 200 million Nigerians will live us only with tears instead of joy hence the need to rally behind a noble gentleman whom we all know can restore our glory.
We have seen how some unpatriotic elements within the party surruptiously started the process of manipulating the party orgarns, to suit their personal idiosyncrasies and vested selfish interest.
Senator Almakura believe in the unity Of Nigeria. He openly preached the gospel of peace, harmony and tolerance among Nigerians.
His stance on National Development, dialogue and peace building effort of Nigeria has become open secret. He was blessed with the oratory prowess and transparency of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, knowledge and accountability of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, charismatic aura and nationalism traits of Sir. Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna Of Sokoto), leadership dexterity and objevtivity of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, managerial skills Of Mal. Aminu Kano, doggedness Of Michael Opara, struggle of Chief Akintola Williams.
His policies and programmes are dynamic and also his achievements are footprints in the life of ordinary citizens of Nasarawa state are tangible and feasibly glaring.
He used effectively the little resources to transform Agriculture, built and upgrade hospitals to international standards, massive constructions roads both in rural and urban centres and he made many millionaires through women and youths employment when he served as the governor of Nasarawa state, and he is sustaining same tempo as current Senator representating Nasarawa North.
On a lighter mood, One could say that the year 2023 and the future of Nigeria rests heavily on the nature of leadership that will emerge preferably one who will sustain the current sound policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, though it is will come to be only if the rulling APC retain power.
It means APC will definitely require a leader who will consolidate on the efforts of Mai Mala Buni reconciliatory moves where each and every card carrying member of the APC is carried along . Almakura is very capable and will sustain this very tempo upon which we shall convincingly win elections from Federal to States levels. The Revival of APC is finally here with Senator Almakura as the only option.
Ukkasha Hamza Rahama is the National Chairman, APC Youths Progressive Forum. He writes from Bauchi State, Nigeria.