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From Crisis to Stability: The APC’s Journey under Ganduje’s Leadership

By Suleiman Abbah The year 2023 was a tumultuous one for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria, as internal rifts and power struggles dominated…

By Suleiman Abbah

The year 2023 was a tumultuous one for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria, as internal rifts and power struggles dominated the party’s landscape. The lead-up to the party’s national convention was marked by various factions vying for control and influence, reflecting broader ideological divides and conflicts over leadership within the party.

Similar to party crises in other democracies around the world, such as the Republican Party in the United States or the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the APC’s internal struggles were driven by differing visions and priorities among its members. These tensions were exacerbated by a history of factionalism and power struggles within the party, as well as external pressures from opposition parties and other political actors in Nigeria.

The appointment of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as National Chairman by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party marked a turning point in the party’s trajectory. Ganduje inherited a party in turmoil, with challenges ranging from filling vacant offices to resolving disputes between key party members. His leadership style, characterized by a commitment to unity and consultation, brought a sense of stability and direction to the party.

One of the key challenges Ganduje faced was the battle to fill the vacant office of the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, which highlighted tensions between different stakeholders within the party. His ability to navigate these conflicts and reach consensus demonstrated his skill in managing internal dynamics and fostering unity within the party.

Ganduje’s proactive approach to addressing issues within the party and even outside it, such as the potential impeachment of the deputy governor of Ondo state and the face-off between Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers state and his godfather Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, showcased his commitment to finding political solutions and maintaining party cohesion nationwide.

Under Ganduje’s leadership, the APC embarked on a path of reform and repositioning, with a focus on grassroots engagement, electronic membership registration, and the establishment of a Progressive Institute. His vision for the party as a platform of ideology and inclusivity reflected a commitment to strengthening the party’s internal structures and ensuring transparency in its operations.

One of the key initiatives undertaken by Ganduje is the implementation of electronic membership registration, which aims to streamline the party’s membership database and improve planning and coordination efforts. By leveraging technology, the APC can better engage with its members and stakeholders, and ensure that the party remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its constituents.

Ganduje’s efforts in reviving the Buhari House national secretariat of the APC have undoubtedly transformed the once sporadically busy building into a bustling hub of activity. With the addition of a staff canteen, a Christian chapel, a modern security gatehouse, and a digitized Media Centre, the party headquarters now serves as a dynamic and modern space for party members and stakeholders.

The decision to establish critical standing committees, the Progressive Institute, and to return the party to its grassroots by setting up functional offices at the ward and local government levels demonstrates Ganduje’s commitment to strengthening the party structure. Additionally, the inauguration of state campaign councils in various states signifies a shift towards decentralization and a more inclusive decision-making process.

Ganduje has however faced numerous challenges, particularly in the lead-up to the November 11 governorship election in Kogi state. Many party members feared that the APC would lose Kogi and other key states, which could have potentially led to Ganduje being ousted from his position.

Despite these concerns, the party was able to retain two states and came close to winning Bayelsa as well. Ganduje has been vocal about his commitment to uniting the party and transforming it into a party of ideology rather than just an election platform. He envisions the APC having its own Progressive Institute modeled after renowned institutes in the United States.

Ganduje’s leadership style is characterized by his willingness to listen to different opinions and engage with various party stakeholders. He has made it a priority to ensure internal democracy within the party and to encourage wider consultations throughout the year. Under his watch, the party has seen increased engagement from various support groups and party leaders.

One area of focus for Ganduje has been activating and revitalizing the party structures at the ward level, which have often been neglected in the past. By paying attention to these grassroots structures, the APC aims to strengthen its presence and effectiveness at the grassroots level.

Overall, Ganduje’s leadership has shown promise in steering the APC through challenging times and repositioning the party for success in the future. His commitment to unity, democracy, and ideological transformation bodes well for the party’s long-term viability and relevance in Nigerian politics.
Ganduje’s visionary leadership and innovative approach to party organization and revitalization are essential for the continued success and growth of the APC. Through his efforts, the party is well-positioned to strengthen its presence at the grassroots level, foster closer relationships with partners and stakeholders, and ultimately, advance its mission of promoting good governance and development in Nigeria.

As the APC looks towards the future, Ganduje’s leadership provides a foundation for stability, unity, and growth. His emphasis on e-registration, grassroots activation, and strategic planning positions the party for continued success and expansion. With a renewed sense of purpose and direction, the APC under Ganduje’s leadership is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of Nigerian politics and emerge stronger in the coming years.

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