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APC And The Quest For Peace

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In no distant past, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has maintained the posture of the biblical lone voice of one crying in the wilderness. As one of the leading governors of the APC who has demonstrated keen senses for resolving crises in the party, it was not surprising that he was recently appointed to lead Northern governors’ committee on security, JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH writes

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress(APC) seem to have been over in the interim with the immediate past national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, accepting the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) he led since 2018 in good faith.

Throwing in the towel, Oshiomole said his decision was based on his loyalty and respect for President Muhammadu Buhari. He said, “I have accepted the decision of the NEC to dissolve the NWC, two years ago PMB invited me to come and reposition the APC and that since the president in his wisdom has also agreed to the dissolution of the NWC,  I am bound to obey him as the leader of the party”.

The implication of Oshiomhole’s resignation to fate is that virtually all the litigations pending in court over leadership tussle will merely be an academic matter. In fact, it is expected that all the parties concerned in the various suits will withdraw such and allow amicable resolution of all the issues in the interest of the party.

This was part of the resolutions arrived at during the recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party held at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari, who, based on some legal guidance, threw his weight behind Chief Victor Giadom as the acting national chairman of the party.

With Buhari recognising Giadom as the acting national chairman amidst other party chieftains laying claim to the position, it was easy for NEC, the highest decision making organ of the party, to meet and decide on the way forward.

Arising from the NEC meeting, a national caretaker committee headed by Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, was constituted. On the surface, the composition of the committee seems to be all-encompassing as it appears all critical interests and stakes have been taken care of. The committee will oversee the affairs of the party for the next six months before a national convention of the party will be held.

But the various tendencies within the party did not just agree to bury whatever misgivings they have in the collective interest of the party. Some chieftains of the party made some behind the scene shuttle diplomacy in order to lay the groundwork for the emerging peace in the party. One of such committed party member is Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Governor Bello, young and charismatic, has been making some selfless efforts talking to the aggrieved in the party to stay calm and subordinate their varied personal interests to the overall interest of the party. To him, party supremacy is very fundamental as he believes that no matter how influential a party chieftain is or his ambition, everything about such person must be subsumed within the overall position of the party.

Now chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum committee on security, Governor Bello wants the APC to remain strong, united and formidable just like what the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said in a recent open letter where he threw his weight behind President Buhari and the new caretaker committee, canvassing that the interest of the party must always override the partisan and parochial interests of members.

In like manner, as a committed party man, Governor Bello is optimistic the APC will come out victorious in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively.

He also affirmed that the APC is sure-footed to poach Anambra State from the hands of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) whenever the state holds its governorship election so that the APC can integrate the Southeast into its fold as a pan-Nigerian political party.

For now, the party seems to be doing well in the North Central where it holds in its grip the states of Plateau, Niger, kwara, Nasarawa and Kogi with Benue barely slipping out its hold. Leaving the North East shared with the PDP is also a task Bello wants to reverse, the same push he is advancing to the North West where the party has lost its two seats to the opposition.

Hear him, after coming out from a recent meeting North Central governors had with the chief of staff to President Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari:

“Our party is one solid party. It is a particularly big family like that, you won’t rule out any misunderstanding in one way or the other. But I can assure you that our party is strong under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and as a father, he is already looking into it and I can assure you that we are going to come out very strong

“So, we are going to continue to expand our coast. So, APC is strong we are not divided, we are only seeing one same point from a different angle and we are trying to make ourselves understand the points, that is just it, there is no misunderstanding.”

On the Edo State governorship election coming up in September, the governor is optimistic that the APC would win the election.

“We are going to go to Edo State and we shall win Edo state election overwhelmingly for APC, we are going to go to Ondo state and win it overwhelmingly for APC. We will take Anambra State and record it as a second APC state from the South East and integrate our Igbo brothers into the fold and we are going to take Ekiti and Osun once again”.

Already in his second term in office, Governor Bello can decide to be unperturbed by the crisis in the APC, at least for now, since he won’t be contesting any election soon. But that is the way of selfish and greedy politicians. Once their desire is actualised, every other thing can perish, and even the party can. But that is not the way of the Ebira-born Nigerian politician who believes that the APC should be a party for all and as such must be built and nurtured in order that it can always be a strong competitor for power and vehicle for good governance in the overall interest of Nigerians.

Going forward, public commentators and scholars have argued that in managing the affairs of a political party, those who genuinely and truly love the party and are willing to make sacrifices for its advancement and sustainability even in the face of existential threats must be saddled with the responsibility of steering the wheel of the party.

Governor Yahaya Bello seems to be destined for such an onerous responsibility in whatever capacity going by the subterranean moves he has been making in order to mend fences within the party, and he is giving that tacit support to his counterpart, Mai Mala Buni, Acting Chairman of the party and Governor of Yobe.

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