APC Leadership: North Central Stalwarts Back Ganduje

National Chairman, APC, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

In development which seems to indicate that a recent move by some forces in the region to reclaim the chairmanship of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the North Central did not enjoy general consensus at home, leading party stalwarts from the North Central have pledged their loyalty to the APC National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The APC North Central Stakeholders/Elders Forum made the pledge on Wednesday 14 February, 2024 during a solidarity visit to Dr. Ganduje at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

Leader of the group and former Senate President, Sen. Ameh Ebute, disassociate the delegation from the recent call by some North Central groups for Dr. Ganduje’s replacement from the zone.

Sen. Ebute said: “We are from communities in Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, and Kwara States. We are true representatives of the leadership and members of our great party across states in North Central Nigeria.

“We have by our own free will, and as a collective of true progressives, decided to pay Your Excellency this solidarity visit because we believe this is the best time to physically express our appreciation of the great things you have been doing for our great party since you were sworn into the office of the National Chairman. Therefore, this is a solidarity visit to our respected National Chairman by party members of North Central Nigeria to ask and demand that you continue to do more for our party.

“Of course, Mr Chairman, we are not unaware of growing calls by some elements of the party from the North Central Zone for reversal of the occupant of the office of the National Chairman based on the zoning arrangements that made Senator Abdullahi Adamu, your predecessor, who is from Nasarawa State in the North Central Zone, the National Chairman of our party before he resigned in 2023.

“While we acknowledge the efforts of these advocates of returning the Chairman’s office to North Central Zone, we however, believe that the more compelling reason for anybody to advance the manner of person that will occupy the office of the National Chairman of our party should be about consideration for track record of performance as shown in winning political contests against the opposition. Equally important is how the rank and file members of the party are directly benefiting from the activities of the party across the country.

“When we put all these together, we came to the conclusion that you, Your Excellency, ticks all the boxes for a performing excellent Chairman. Indeed, you’re not just a performing National Chairman but a National Chairman that had done the most in the shortest possible time to positively impact individual members of our great party while our party has also recorded impressive electoral strides bereft of rancour under your leadership.”

Sen. Ebute added: “By these considerations, we hereby declare our unalloyed support for you, Your Excellency, to continue to manage the affairs of our great party, the APC and to remain in the office of the National Chairman, for the good and development of members of the party especially for the purpose of ensuring stability in the administration of our great party.

“We are particularly happy the you’re adopting technology and innovation in the management of the party affairs. It is a thing of pride to us that our great party’s membership register is now been digitalised in alignment with global best practices. This is a first in the political history of our great country. This translates to mean that while the opposition was busy doing nothing you put your hand to the plough and got busy working and thinking for the party. We thank you so much for this, Your Excellency.

In addition, Your Excellency, you’re blazing a new trail in ideological politics in the political annals of our great country. With the Progressive Institute that you’re structuring, we can boastfully tell opposition parties that we are not the same. Thanks to you Your Excellency, our party is not only ideological driven, it has a school where we impart knowledge and leadership grooming for our members.”

Responding, Dr. Ganduje stressed the need for stability in the party to make it a strong institution to deliver to good governance to Nigerians.

Ganduje said: “It is important to make our party a very strong institution. We promised our party and Nigerians that business is not going to be as usual in APC. We promised to undertake some innovations which we have started. Reconciliation is a very important factor in democracy. Reconciliation is very important for the stability of our political party. Reconciliation is a vital issue for success.

“Also we promised that there will be electronic registration of the membership of our party which we have already started. It is so vital because democracy is changing, democracy is getting advanced in Nigeria. To win election we need to consider so many variables, we need to have an accurate data with the necessary features that we can forecast, plan and calculate. Election nowadays is not a trial and error, it is scientific, unless you are scientific, you are bound to fail in an election period. 

“Also, we decided in order for our party to have identity, a strong philosophy, a very strong direction, we have gone far to establish the Progressive Institute for our party. This will educate our members in the nitty gritty of democracy; enlighten our members, the institutions that are in charge of election like the INEC, security agents, the political parties themselves and also to enlighten our monitors to see how far our manifesto is being implemented.”

Ganduje added: “So we thank you for coming, we have work together, assist Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his efforts to maintain peace and security in Nigeria. We want to thank him for his efforts in order to rebuild our economy which was so bad but with his commitment, we believe our economy will be put on the right foot by the grace of God.

“So, members of our party from North-Central geopolitical zone, a very important geopolitical zone because, out of the six states, we have five for APC. Even the sixth we were about to get it but we have to accept whatever we have. Your zone is a good example of unity in diversity because your geopolitical zone is a good example of diversity in politics – different religions, tribes, ethnic nationalities. Yet, you are able to come together under an umbrella we call APC. We have to thank you for that. A homogeneous geopolitical zone is not able to come together but a heterogeneous geopolitical zone (North-central) is able to do that. We thank you for that and we assure you, we will take APC to much higher level in Nigeria.”

Taking a survey of the APC performance in recent off-season elections, Dr. Ganduje stated: “The recent elections in the three states, we were able to maintain our states of Imo, Kogi, we narrowly lost Bayelsa state. In the recent bye- elections, we won more than 90%. We have Senators, House of Representatives, State Assembly members. We have another election coming up in Edo State. In Ondo State we have election. So we have focused our minds on that. So any distraction in the structure of the party will not augur well for the party.

“These assaults on Mr President, these assaults on Nigerians, we believe we will soon be out of these problems. We have to thank him for his renewed Hope Agenda; efforts, commitment and we assure him we are 100% for him. 

“I am so happy that you realise the importance of having a stable political party that is focused, ready to win election any time, anywhere. There is no doubt that there is an opposition but we believe with your cooperation, we will not continue to listen to undesirable elements who are not focused, who are not real party men, who want to see us in disarray. We have no place for that. We are people, politicians who are committed. We know we are forging ahead so we thank you for your resolutions. We thank you for your commitment.”

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