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Fascination as bigwigs/ex-governors jostle for APC chairmanship: A narration

By Ibrahim Mu’azzam Abdullahi Visible strength (Capacity to win elections and sustain the gains) of a political party largely depends on that party’s internal strength…

By Ibrahim Mu’azzam Abdullahi

Visible strength (Capacity to win elections and sustain the gains) of a political party largely depends on that party’s internal strength which is determined by effective leadership. This is no different from the ruling Political party in Nigeria – the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Being a former opposition political party gives it versatility and Capacity to be dynamic as well as capable of turning down its perceived misfortunes. Its growing membership as well as followership is with no doubt bringing Complexities that requires a National Chairman with a worldview and Capacity to manage it so well that it cannot Collapse as insinuations exist in some quarters.

There are views as to which region should produce the next National Chairman of APC (Zoning arrangement) which may be influenced by the 2023 party’s presidential Flag bearer. A number of contenders/Aspirants from the north emanates with various Strengths and weaknesses.

Currently, the party is Chaired by a Caretaker/Extraordinary convention planning Committee Led by the Yobe State Governor, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, whom since assumption on the 25th of June 2021 made a plethora of progresses to the party after the Dissolution of the Oshiomhole led National working Committee- APC-NWC. The Mai Mala Led Committee is expected to organize a National convention somewhere around December this year which heightened battle for the chairmanship seat recently.

Although a southern contender is yet to emerge, perhaps a unanimous decision to cart away the APC presidential ticket but may be a cretin Maw as it lacks legal and or constitutional standing.

The southern presidency and the indecision of time

A view exists that even if the south did not join the race for the party Chairman, it may end up losing the presidential ticket as it is not a registered position in the party’s constitution, perhaps this is because a number of powerful northern blocs don’t want a power shift to the south.

However, few exist in the north that are of the opinion that for justice and Sustainability of the party, equity and fairness should be given to the south to come up with a presidential flag bearer

Whichever is the argument, time shall decide and the intrigues as well as politicking ahead. However, one cannot rule out having a Northern APC National Chairman as a bigger possibility to having a southern APC Presidential Candidate. This is largely Because President Muhammadu Buhari may not play Dirty politics as he is known to be law abiding and always aspiring to end his tenure well.


North-West Aspirant

This is the largest Geo-Political Region in Nigerian Politics. Its voter Register capacity, as at 2019, stood at almost 19 million – the highest in the country.

In the race to APC National Chairmanship, it has only 1 Candidate:

His Excellency Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar: Sole candidate in the Geo-Political Region

Yari has been in the Opposition Political party since the return of Democracy in 1999. He was in APP as at that time, upon change of nomenclature to ANPP, he kept faith; rising to a state stakeholder when he became the state party chairman and subsequently, the ANPP National financial secretary. In 2003, he contested for membership of National Assembly emerging victorious to represent the good people of Anka/Maradu, also contested for governor of Zamfara state wining in clear term. In the build up to the 2015 Election, Yari was one of the 11 wise men that form APC his ideology and that of the president had never been a par.

Recall that in the year 2000, he was one of the 7 persons that met President Muhammadu Buhari and convinced him to contest for the highest office in the land. After persistent pressure and refusal of Buhari to heed the call, they invited the president friend late AVM Muktar Muhammad to persuade Buhari, on AVM’s involvement, Buhari eventually accepted. Others were Buba Galadima, Naja’atu Muhammad, late Kumo, Sule Hamma and Fatima Muhammad.

This long-term standings of Yari, couple with his national spread Being a national Politicians gives him strength against all the other contenders who are largely regional or paperweight Politicians.

His major Challenges are Coming from Zamfara, where one former governor was found to have said he never shall fold his hand allow Yari emerge as national party chair, adding that allowing Yari is equivalent to suicide. Hence, our preliminary finding reveals that He (the former governor) could do everything possible to stop Yari’s emergence. However, Yari sees that as a non-threat as God Almighty is the giver of power.

His second Challenge is that, all those that initiate his Aspiration to becoming the party Chair are now against him simply because they realized him wining and to them, he will be more than them in accomplishment and will block them from attaining any position, a view Yari sees to be myopic.

The third challenge is the common front by the Northwest politicians who are either aspiring for president or vice president, they see his success as defeating theirs as in their myopic view his emergence will stop them from Accomplishing theirs. Perhaps because no concentration of positions in one zone work.

However, his strength are that he have National spread within the party as part of the pioneer 11 men cum good understanding with the Southern political strongholds

Also, he is a grassroots politician who started Politics from his locality up to becoming a governor and this speaks much of an expert that could manage effectively political intrigues of any kind.

North-East Aspirants

The Region that has almost 3 aspirants, the highest so far and is alleged to be lopsided in the APC:

Senator Ali Modu Sheriff

A two-term former governor of Borno state between (2003 – 2011) in the Opposition ANPP, although a number of people believed him to be Obasanjo’s stooge in the then Opposition and had played insignificant role in the formation of the APC.

However, sheriff jumped to the then Ruling party – the people’s Democratic party PDP in the build up to 2015 elections.

In the PDP, he battled Senator Ahmad Muhammad Makarfi to lead the party’s national Chairman, but was defeated by Makarfi at the supreme court. This made him leave the PDP, coming back to the APC.

Although he is yet to make his ambition formal, our source reveals he will do that as time for the convention draws near.

Political analysts have seen no much strength in him. Some view his aspiration as relevance seeking and cannot test any waters.

Senator Danjuma Goje

He is also a two-time governor of Gombe State and a current Senator representing Gombe central

He aspired to be Senate President but later was persuaded to step down for senator Ahmed Lawan. He was also a founding member of the APC; Goje was hitherto in PDP.

Although, he has slimmer chances of winning the party Chair because of his rift with current governor of his state, Inuwa Yahaya, hence, the belief that governors have influence in deciding issues in their states.

Goje did not also make his aspiration formal, but preliminary findings reveal that he is still considering his chances before taking a formal stand.

Senator Kashim Shettima

A two-time governor of Borno state and current Senator, Shettima, like many of them, is yet to make his ambition formal, but preliminary investigation revealed that he is still consulting in wider terms before formally deciding on the matter.

Aspirants from North central

George Akume

Akume was also a two-term governor. He governed Benue from 1999 to 2007. He is currently the Minister of Special duties and intergovernmental affairs.

Some see him being close to Buhari as the reason he was chosen a minister with Special portfolio. He also being influenced at the moment to join the race; our preliminary findings reveal.

There is the belief that he has ideas if he could champion the leadership but is also adjudge a Benue politician that couldn’t make his part retain power in the state.

Senator Tanko Almakura.

The only CPC elected governor in north central in 2011 and currently a Senator from Nasarawa state. His aspiration is seen to be nurtured by his successor governor Sule Bello who at the commencement of the APC membership Registration explained that the state stakeholders need to come together to support the state to produce the next national party chairman.

Almakura may be strength to reckon with, but his reported invitation by the EFCC in July could affect his chances to clinch the ticket. This is due to the Buhari-led presidency campaign on good governance.

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