Story from Muhammadu BASHIR, Jos
There is no disputing the fact that the Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker/convention committee of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) is doing a yeoman’s job in moving the party forward.
Before now, it was common knowledge the party was being prepared for burial by the immediate past national chairman and former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and given his background as a “no-nonsense comrade,” the ex-governor ruled the party and expected everyone, including the governors who walked him into leadership, to bow before him.
He had barely spent two months in office when it became clear that Oshiomhole was going to prove bookmakers right that he was the undertaker the party was waiting for.
Just as Nigerians, nay, party members were about singing the dirge, stakeholders quickly intervened and rescued the party from the lord of the manor.
Since then, the party, under the Buni leadership has steadily moved from one point of progress to another.
The high point of this progress was the recent defection of some governors on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They include Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, Ben Agade of Cross River and very recently, the governor of Zamfara state, Mohammed Bello Matawalle.
Just at a time some people believed the party was not doing well, strong politicians continue to pour in. Curious! Yes, curious. To put it mildly, that’s the stuff the APC is made of.
And with the July 31 date for the commencement of party congresses, the party will begin a transition to consolidating on its previous gains by electing at the national convention, a formidable team to pilot its affairs.
Though the party is yet to officially make its position known on power shift, it is however given that the nation’s plum seat may be zoned to the southern part of the country. This, therefore, implies that the party‘s national chairman will naturally come from the north, and precisely north-central.
The question now is who takes up the gauntlet from where Buni will be dropping it? The last time I checked, some five contenders are eyeing the party’s top job. And in no particular order, they include; former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state, former Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who also had a two-term tenure in Borno state as governor and a controversial national chairman of the opposition PDP, a former deputy national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Malam Salihu Mustapha, and a lawmaker from Niger state, Senator Sani Musa.
Without any iota of doubt, the APC is blessed and enjoyed the tremendous support of Nigerians in the wake of both the 2015 and 2019 elections.
The question begging the answer now is, should a former governor lead the party, considering the cult figure that an average Nigerian governor portrays while in office?
While the record of the former governors is really not the reason for this piece, I make bold to say that the party will be ruining its future if it chooses to trust a former governor with its future.
While democracy is about choice, it behoves party supporters at all levels to know that putting any of these former governors all of whom are in their 60’s, at the helm of affairs, may end up being a disservice to the party.
Look, the idea of the former governors wanting to dominate the national life is one that Nigerians should check.
With tons of allegations of corruption hanging around their neck, the former governors are in the Senate, the nation’s top lawmaking body deciding how things should be done. If given a very critical perusal, one will be checked to see that most Nigerian governors are usually neck-deep in corruption after leaving office.
That tendency of holding everyone by the nose is a common trait of former governors and to therefore think of saddling any former governor with such a responsibility is one that won’t be good.