The All Progressives Congress (APC) last weekend held its all-important national elective convention with former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, emerging as the new national chairman. The party adopted the consensus method to elect the 77 party leaders out of which 21 of them will be members of the new National Working Committee (NWC).
The convention was a long walk for the party and its members. It was postponed on several occasions due to internal crisis, some of which had legal implications. The party had to settle for a Caretaker Extraordinary Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni after the ouster of its former national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
With the 2023 general elections just by the corner, the Adamu-led NWC has a lot of work to do if the ruling party is desirous of retaining power at the centre and expand its stronghold. There should be sincere reconciliation and general healing among aggrieved members. It is a good thing that Senator Adamu himself is already thinking along that line. He said in his acceptance speech that he will heal the wounds in the party.
“I promise you here and now that we shall heal any wound in our party; 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 hand of friendship to all our members. I want to assure you that my colleagues and I will operate an open-door policy for all members of the party,” he said.
The crisis in the APC is not strange to him. Before taking up his new position, Adamu was heading the party’s reconciliation sub-committee. He knows very well that all is not well. Some states like Bayelsa, Rivers, Taraba and Sokoto are enmeshed in a lot of internal wranglings which have led to the creation of factions in those places. All of that needs to be sorted out.
The Adamu-led NWC also has an uphill task in arriving at who to fly its presidential flag in the 2023 election. Since the party has agreed and settled for the South, they have to contend with who, among the bigwigs like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will be their candidate. That decision if it goes sour will no doubt lead to massive exit from the party. It is going to be a difficult moment and consensus may not be the best political solution for that.
Again, the APC needs to do a lot to convince Nigerians to vote them in 2023. Across the country, the disappointment is visible. The change the party promised when it was campaigning in 2015 has not been fulfilled. Nigerians are now poorer than they were before 2015. A bag of rice now goes for about N40,000 while a dollar as at today is N700. A liter of fuel is N200 and so it is for almost all the consumable and non-consumable items.
Generally, the economy is at its lowest ebb, there has been massive job loses, power situation has become more epileptic, bandits, herdsmen and other notorious armed men have occupied most towns and villages in the north. The level of insecurity has scared most investors and the APC-led government has resorted to borrowing to fund the country’s budgets.
These are the difficult issues Adamu and his team will be trying to explain to the people as they go on campaign. In this regard they must come open and straight. Nigerians will want to hear what happened to the change they were promised. They have the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contend with.
But above all, Adamu must avoid all the mistakes that led to the “downfall” of his predecessor, Oshiomhole. He should not be a chairman for a few; a chairman who does not listen but should run an all-inclusive government that will make all party members, regardless of statuss, to have a sense of belonging. That is the way he should go.