Senator Al-makura: Time For APC To Render Honour To Whom Honour Is Due

Senator Tanko Al-makura

Senator Al-makura: Time for APC to render honour to whom honour is due

By Ali Abare

March 09, 2022

There is no time and circumstance that could best describe the biblical quote on giving honour to whom honour is due, than now, especially after the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) adopted the zoning formula earlier submitted to the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), by the zoning sub committee.

Acting chairman of the CECPC and Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, while chatting with journalists on Tuesday, disclosed that the party has adopted the zoning formula presented by the zoning sub committee.

The zoning sub committee has earlier proposed zoning the national chairmanship seat of the party to the North Central. With the statement from the party’s acting chairman, it’s certain now the North Central geopolitical zone will produce the national chairman during the March 26 national convention of the APC.

This is a feat worthy of celebration judging from the facts that other political zones in the country coveted the chairmanship position but the party in its wisdom decided to honour the North Central that will now produce the national chairman of the party.

Several factors may have been considered by the leadership of the APC to agree to zone the position of the national chairman to the North Central zone. Indeed, it’s not too difficult to unravel some of these factors that may have worked in favour of the zone, which comprises of six states namely Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau.

Certainly, the North Central must have contributed its share towards the growth of the APC but the most outstanding and easily recognisable, is the critical role Nasarawa State played leading to the formation of the party.

There is no gainsaying the fact that, Nasarawa State was the only state ruled by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) founded by no other person that President Muhammadu Buhari, who left the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to establish his own political party, the CPC.

And in Nasarawa State, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura was the “Jagoran Chanji”, who led the political struggle that saw the CPC, a lesser known political party, took over power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A master political strategist, Senator Al-makura rallied around the people of the state, mostly at a time when those in power then considered his quest as a joke taken too far. Al-makura was able turn the 2011 governorship election in favour of the CPC.

When it became obvious to opposition parties that only through an alliance of mostly regional political parties could the ruling party be sent packing, ahead of the 2015 general election, the CPC which controls only Nasarawa State with Senator Al-makura as its point man, provided President Buhari with his 12m supporters, a platform to participate in the negotiations leading to the formation of the APC in 2013.

It’s on record that Senator Al-makura hosted the maiden Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, barely a week or two after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered the new political party.

In a pre-event interaction with the media, Senator Al-makura bared his mind on the significance of the merger that led to the birth of the APC, after the former legacy parties, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), a segment of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) gave up their individual identities, and later, members of the nPDP that joined just before the 2015 general election.

In a chat with Daily Trust, a week before the maiden PGF meeting in Lafia, Senator Al-makura, spoke on the direction of the APC as a political party.

“We did not go into this historic merger just because we want to win an election. It is not just for the fun of it, or even changing the PDP as a government.

“There is something more fundamental about the change we are seeking. We must have a different system from what we are trying to change to justify the essence of this merger.

“Already we have made history by having the very first ideal merger in this country. What happened since independence have been alliances and accords which brought about the amalgamation of various interests together, for the purpose of winning votes. And that is why such accords frittered as soon as elections were over,” he stated.

During his tenure as governor, Senator Al-makura experienced a baptism of fire from the PDP dominated Nasarawa State House of Assembly, that plotted to remove him from office but failed. He equally overcame the worst ethnic crisis in the history of the state, the Ombatse onslaught, which saw to the brutal murder of over 70 security operatives in Alakyo.

During his time as governor, Senator Al-makura was saddled with national assignments by the APC which saw him chair the five-member committee for the 2018 Ekiti governorship election. Also, in November 2018, Senator Al-makura was found worthy to lead the North East committee, as part of the national reconciliation committees set up by the APC. While Senator Al-makura chairs the committee, governors of Katsina and Jigawa, Bello Masari and Muhammad Baduru Abubakar, were both members of this committee.

After his eight-year tenure, Senator Al-makura moved to the senate to represent Nasarawa South at the upper chamber of the national assembly. He has remained a voice to reckon with as far as protecting and projecting the founding philosophy of the APC.

Another critical factor that may have influenced the decision of the APC to zone the chairmanship position to the North Central, is the agitation by Senator Al-makura’s successor, Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, for the party to zone the position of the chairman to the North Central and to Nasarawa State in particular.

Since Engineer Sule started his campaign and lobby for the APC to zone the chairmanship position to the North Central and to Nasarawa State, he never relent, culminating with the formal adoption and endorsement of Senator Al-makura as the only recognised candidate vying for the position of the national chairman of the APC in Nasarawa State.

Engineer Sule has always cited the critical role Senator Al-makura played in midwifing the birth of the APC, as reason why the party should consider zoning the position of the national chairman to the North Central and to Nasarawa State in particular.

Now that the APC has zoned the position of the national chairman of the party to the North Central, it will not be out of place to demand from the party to render honour to whom honour is done, by making sure Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura emerges as the next national chairman of the party.

As the party prepares for its March 26 national convention, where the new national executive committee of the party will emerge, it’s pertinent to state that, even though other aspirants contesting for the position of the national chairman of the party are all eminently qualified, Senator Al-makura however stands out as one who most fit the bill.

For a political party that came to enshrine sanity and enthrone true democracy, the APC must eschew vindictiveness, blackmail and political vendetta, that were the hallmark of the then PDP, which saw to the downfall of the former ruling party.

The APC must imbibe the culture of rewarding loyalty and hard work through ensuring that justice and fairness prevail, by electing Senator Al-makura as national chairman comes March 26, 2022.

Abare is Secretary North Central zone for the Coalition of APC Support Groups. He writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.