Nseobong Okon-Ekong writes that the new leadership of the All Progressives Congress with Senator Abdullahi Adamu in-charge is in hurry to prove that members of the party made the right choice in picking them for the job
The path to the March 26th APC national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was long and tortuous, from the time it unceremoniously ousted the combative National Working Committee led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Then came the Governor Mai Mala Buni Caretaker administration which shifted the date of exit many times and kept an air of melancholy surrounding the party.
Many people doubted that APC will be able to hold its convention or if it did, it could be successful and signal an end to its problems of internal schism.
In the event, the convention turned out to be a big success and the election of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman was not only smooth but has set the party on the path to genuine amends. Late last year, APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee [CECPC] led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni finally set a date for the convention which held after postponement of its initial February date. Fortunately for the party, the Mai Mala Buni had appointed Adamu as chairman of a national reconciliation committee, which many argue was a ploy to give him undue advantage over aspirants who had long shown interest in the office.
The task was urgent because following ward, local government and state congresses that it conducted, many APC state chapters were enveloped in crises and factional executives emerged in several states. It was a very good trial run, because it enabled Adamu to see just how intricate the problem was.
As the committee went about its job traversing the length and breadth of the country, many became convinced that added to experience and maturity, Senator Adamu’s sense of justice, fairness and audacity to stand for the truth with diplomatic tact would go a long way in not only resolving the many conflicts within the party.
Many recalled how, as Governor of Nasarawa State, Adamu organized a smooth transition and won elections to go to the Senate without rancour and has been able to manage all the state governors that came after him.
Widespread regard for his choice ultimately won President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement. The eruption that some expected to follow the convention due to varied interests however thinned out as it became clear that Senator Adamu was going to be the choice of the party.
Endorsement by the President also helped as initial protests from co-contestants died down as they gradually began to withdraw from the race. As the party delegates converged at Eagle Square for the convention on March 26, it was more or less an affirmation for Senator Adamu as all the processes went on without rancor until he was sworn in as the national chairman of APC. Standing on the podium on that day, Adamu pledged to heal the wounds in the party.
He said, “We shall effect lasting reconciliation among our members and we shall go into the next general elections as a strong and united party. I offer my hands of friendship to all our members. I want to assure you that my colleagues and myself will run an open-door policy for all members of the party”.
He added: “We need to renew our faith in our party and its leadership at all levels to herald a new dawn. We need to commit to the resolution of our crisis within the confines of our party constitution.
“We must resist the temptation to blow every minor personal disagreement into a major party crisis. It is time for us to do things differently. When we quarrel, we open our flanks to our rival political parties that are only too eager to exploit them for their benefit.”
Weeks since he took over as chairman, it is clear that the expectations of party leaders would be met as the new national chairman has hit the ground running.
In his first week, he caused the national secretariat to be reconfigured in such a way that the office of the national chairman would be more accessible to the people.
On Tuesday, 5th April, 2022, Adamu met with the United Kingdom chapter of the APC Diaspora, during which he called for more synergy between the party’s secretariat and its Diaspora wing. He commended the chapter for its relentless efforts in shaping public perception of the APC-led administration through continuous engagement on its various social media handles.
On Wednesday, the 6th of April, the new APC helmsman met with former governors under the party’s platform, during which he assured them that the NWC, under his leadership, will strengthen internal democracy within the party, and also ensure fairness to the party members at all levels. He is already dousing the tension within the party with his intervention and consultations with stakeholders.
He is also re-establishing contacts with the top leaders of the party in public office and has been assured of their cooperation and support. The national chairman has also sent signals across that the party would be just to all members.
The big one of all was the convocation of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, held on April 20, where key decisions including the approval of the timetable and schedule of activities for the ruling party’s primaries were approved. To stakeholders of the party, the path to victory of the APC has been laid with the event.
For Senator Adamu, it could be said that the morning that heralds his new position as national chairman, has all the positive signals for a bright future for APC. The hopes of various leaders of the party and its teeming supporters are being rekindled by the strategic steps being taken by the new national chairman to give all and sundry a great sense of belonging in the party.