T he All Progressives Congress (APC) conducted its congresses across the states of the federation as in a bid to have in place elected Executives at all levels as provided for by the party constitution and in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The exercise began with the Ward and local government congresses sometime in September 2021 and climaxed with the constitution of the State Executive Committee on Saturday October 16, 2021. In all the States of the federation, the exercise witnessed a lot of thrills and frills that usually characterised party politics of this magnitude.
However, in Nasarawa State, the exercise has remained a reference point for its huge successes and the rancour-free manner in which the ward, LG and even the State congresses were conducted as compared to other states of the federation where congresses were held in factions or members are grumbling or threatening fire and brimstones.
The State, for instance, adopted a consensus approach in constituting the new Executives, a process that received the endorsement of all party stakeholders in the state. This is why the State has become the cynosure of APC faithful across the country.
A number of factors are responsible for the success of the Consensus approach adopted by party stakeholders in the state. Prominent among which is the disposition of the leader of the party, Governor (Engr.) Abdullahi A. Sule whose sense of ensuring equity and transparency is towering.
Governor Abdullahi A. Sule has over the past two years offered a unique leadership style which has caught the attention of national and international leaders. For instance, extolling the virtues of Governor Sule, the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola said,“…on a personal note, Your Excellency, let me commend the quiet, focused but very clearly dignified approach with which you have conducted your work as the governor of the state, I am an admirer and I urge you to continue in that manner even in the heat of civil discourse, you have remained very civil and courteous while being very forceful in canvassing your position, I watch you. And it will help to, in my view, not only enrich the public debate about the choices before our country but I think, at the fullness of time, single out Nasarawa State as an example of leadership…”
Describing the quality of the personality of the Governor, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang says, “Governor Abdullahi Sule is a great leader who is technically competent and business focused with the people of Nasarawa State at the centre of his vision”.
This sterling personality of Governor Sule is responsible for the peaceful conduct of the party primaries from the ward through local government to the state level.
Other factors that ensured the peaceful conduct of the exercise in Nasarawa State and which has become a reference point and political bench mark in party politics in Nigeria are the insistence of the Party Leader Engr. Sule to include all key stakeholders in the leadership composition process such that every interest and segment of the polity is properly reflected.
The successful conduct of the exercise in Nasarawa State is an eloquent testimony of the belief in the sincerity and confidence the generality of the party stakeholders has in the political leadership of Governor Sule whose sense of transparency is unequal in the history of Nasarawa State.
The leadership style of the governor is not only rubbing off positively in party politics of the state but also contributing immensely to the attainment of peace and security of the state and her people with attendant result in massive public-private partnership investment in the economy.
Aside from attracting investors, it is responsible for the growing influx of members of the opposition party, the PDP into the ruling APC, making PDP now a shadow of itself in Nasarawa state. This is reflected in the just concluded local government election in which was not only free, fair and credible but one of the most peaceful elections ever in the history of the State since the inception of party politics 22 years ago.
The APC received the endorsement of the people, winning all the 13 Local government chairmanship seats and 147 wards Councilors.
Other factors attributed to the rancour-free exercise in Nasarawa State is what observers described as the maturity of critical stakeholders to accommodate other people’s views especially those of Senators, members of the National and State Assemblies and other players like the contestants themselves.
One other critical factor that made Nasarawa State consensus unique was deployment of dialogue as tool to achieve consensus rather than arbitrariness of party leaders and moneybag politicians as witnessed in other states of the federation
Speaking on the outcome of the various exercises in the State, the Party Leader, Governor Abdullahi A. Sule attributed the success to the support and good will he received from the various stakeholders.
Today, Nasarawa State is reputed to be one of the most peaceful and secured states in the country. British High commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang, further attested to this during a recent visit to the state, when she lauded the governor for his peaceful disposition.