BY USMAN ALIU
The race to elect a National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has become intense after the party scheduled March 26, 2022, to hold its national convention.
The Convention is expected to elect officers of the party, who would not only lead the APC to the general elections in 2023.
In the build up to the convention and with the North expected to produce the next national chairman, the debate has intensified on which of the three zones in the North- the North East, the North West, and the North Central, is most suitable to produce the National Chairman of the party.
While the debate rages on, there is growing consensus that the North East should produce the next National Chairman of the APC.
Proponents of this argument contend that the North East is the most populated region in the North after the North West zone and if the National Chairman of the APC emerges from the zone, it would further boost the chances of the party.
With the North Central having produced the National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari from the North West zone, it becomes imperative or necessary for the APC to seek its National Chairman from the North East zone.
Aside zoning considerations, the new Chairman of the party should posses’ unique qualities that would steer the party out of the recent turbulence that has engulfed it lately.
The APC, at the moment, needs an astute administrator, with tested abilities to perform having garnered vast experience from both professional and political sectors.
The party also requires a detribalized Nigerian, humane and someone that is incorruptible, with no cases of fraud or corruption hanging on his neck or being hunted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC or ICPC, or linked to the funding of bandits and terrorist groups such as Boko Haram.
Most importantly, the party needs a National Chairman, who is religious and God fearing, a technocrat who can advise Mr. President on issues of governance, and who will stick to the implementation of the APC manifesto, which the government operates with.
Assessing APC National Chairmanship Hopefuls
Mallam (Dr) Isa Yuguda, former Bauchi State Governor, may not have openly shown interest in the National Chairmanship of the APC, but he is proper and fit to hold such exalted office for various reasons.
Yuguda leveraged on his profession as a banker to turn around the economy of Bauchi State when he was governor.
An astute administrator and a bridge builder with friends across the nation, Yuguda should be considered for the APC top job based on his proven track record and capacity.
Yuguda has held several positions which makes him fit and proper for the APC National Chairmanship job.
Some of the positions he held include, Minister of Transportation and later Aviation, Member Presidential Committee on Economic Meltdown (2007-2008), Chairman, Committee on
Oil Subsidy, which uncovered the Subsidy scandal in the NNPC (2008-2009); Chairman Special Presidential Committee On Federation Account Allocation and Budget Funding
(2000 – 2005); Member, Nigerian Lobby Committee
on African Growth And Opportunities Act (1998); Member, Council of State (2007-2015).
These assignments and the attendant responsibilities with these jobs, endeared him to
many Nigerians across the country; thus he received traditional titles
from the North and South of the country which is a testament of his national acceptability. He is calm, gentle and has proven track records of outstanding accomplishments in key administrative responsibilities, especially when he served as MD/CEO, NAL Merchant Bank, MD/CEO, Inland Bank.
He is also known to be a good party man.
Another contender for the APC National Chairmanship job is former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif.
Sherrif posses the required experience to run the office of the National Chairman of the APC, having at one time served as National Chairman of the PDP.
However, his lack of administrative competence and capacity led to the collapse of the security architecture in his state when he was governor of Borno State.
With his rumoured links to the insurgency and banditry in Borno State and in the North East, this could damage the image of the party if he is elected National Chairman of the party.
Sherrif, is said to be temperamental and erratic, attributes and behavourial dispositions, which the APC does not need at this time.
Having been sacked by the Supreme Court of the opposition PDP, the APC cannot afford to bring on board a character that was offloaded by the law.
Another contender for the post is former Governor of Nassarawa State, Senator Adamu Abdullahi.
Abdullahi is an ardent supporter and loyalist of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Some of the factors against Adamu emerging APC National Chairman is his age.
There are fears that his age will be a hindrance for him to perform effectively, considering the mental and physical rigours involved in executing the task of the office of the National Chairman.
Senator Adamu had failed to come up with a roadmap to restore peace and reconciliation in the APC despite the enormous resources put at his disposal by the party as Chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee.
Also, his running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is a major minus to his aspiration, in addition to his soured relationship with APC stakeholders in Nassarawa State.
Former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdullazeez Yari, is also in the race for the National Chairmanship of the party.
However, his aspiration is faulted on the manner his lack of “peoples management skill” made the APC to collapse in Zamfara during his reign as Governor.
Aside this, Yari is perceived to be temperamental and disrespectful, and is also entangled in a web of allegations bordering on corruption. This would be exploited by the opposition to malign the APC during and after elections.
Alhaji Tanko Al Makura, a former governor of Nassarawa State and a Senator, is also in the race to be Chairman.
However, his major minis is corruption cases hanging on his neck which will be
injurious to the image of the party if elected as the National Chairman.
He is alleged to have hearing impairment which could also impede his performance as National Chairman of the party.