All eyes on Tanko Al-Makura to set the pace

Again, because of his track records beginning from the private sector up till when he governed Nasarawa state, there are repeated calls on Senator Tanko Al-Makura to call the shot in his party’s highest national leadership. MOHAMMED YANGIDA reports.
Senator Tanko Al-Makura is likened to a silent hurricane. His experience, antecedent, credibility, patience, sacrifices tolerance and charisma are credentials that stand him out, as both conventional and other online newspapers as well as social media are awash with all kinds of analysis, comparing him with other aspirants that are jostling for the position of the national chairmanship position of All Progressives Congress (APC).As at the last count, the front-runners in the contest include four former governors and senators like Senator Al-Makura of Nasarawa state, Abulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Ali Modu Sherif of Borno and Kashim Shettima also from Borno state.Others are the senator representing Niger-east senatorial district, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, a former national publicity of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Salihu Mustapha and Mr Sunny Sylvester Moniedafe.These aspirants who have indicated interest qualified to pilot the affairs of the party following their antecedents as they have served the party in one way or the other. However, party chieftains within the rank of APC said they would not support political jobbers, who had jumped from one party to another looking for self-glorification to take over the mantle of leadership in their party.Equally, political analysts are of the views that the calibre of aspirants seeking to get the position of the national chairmanship of the party is no doubt a welcome development in governance, but said the party needs a person who has, over the years, demonstrated high level of loyalty and made huge sacrifices for the success of the APC since its formative years.Agreed, some factors may  come to the fore in the selection/election process of the chairman of APC, but other analysts say such factors must not be to the determent of sacrifice, competence and the ability to deliver. 
All for Al-Makura
To that extent, a party faithful in Nasarawa, Albert Anzaku, said for the records, Senator Al-Makura has all it takes to run the affairs of the party as its chairman without being boastful.Although the senator is yet to make public his intention, but Anzaku said his contest would come only if it is zoned to the North central part of the country.Political observers are of the opinion that major party stakeholders may prefer Al-Makura for the chairmanship position due to his high sense of justice, leadership quality and would deliver the party where its constitution, hierarchy and supremacy would be respected by all.According to him, “Al-Makura possesses the credential to turn the party around positively,” they noted.Speaking further they said, “The sharing arrangement during the merger of three legacy parties was clear on how the leadership of the APC would be structured; therefore, for justice and fairness, what goes around should come around. “Nasarawa state was the only political collateral the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) had that qualified it for a round-table talks with other strong opposition parties and Senator Umaru Al-Makura who lifted the flag of the party high was the political commodity for that bargain.”It is therefore a precise disposition to say that Senator Al-Makura is best qualified for the national chairmanship position of the APC,” they noted further.Fought as a lone ranger

Fought as a lone ranger
It is also important to note that President Muhammadu Buhari, who was at the centre of the merger in order to provide a platform for him to win the 2015, general election has Nasarawa state as the only state controlled by his party – the CPC and as providence would have it, Senator Al-Makura was the governor of the state.Therefore, political watchers believe that the CPC and indeed Senator Al-Makura should be rewarded for his patience, resilience and immense contributions to the success of the APC over the years.These sacrifices tend to speak in his favour.According to the analysts, Al-Makura was the only person elected on the platform of the CPC as governor of Nasarawa state in 2011 and nurtured the party into the merger talk. He is seen as more reliable, trusted by the leaders with the growth of the party such that he should be given the chance to serve the national chairmanship slot of the party.”He is reputed to be highly organised, dedicated passionate and a hardworking person with proven integrity. He is an element who can effectively heal all broken political fractures in the party, if there is any.”As according to the political actors, “Al-Makura is compassionate, courageous, considerate, diligent, generous and reliable, and when talking about competence, capacity and capability, nobody can take that away from Al-Makura. Those who were opportuned to work or associate closely with him would attest to this.”

In the spirit of fairness.It would be recalled that other parties that were part of the merger process have, at one point or the other, produced chairmen for the ruling APC with the exception of CPC.For instance, at the inception of APC following the merger, Chief Bisi Akande of the defunct ACN took over and handed over to Chief Odigie Oyegun of the defunct ANPP. Oyegun handed it over to Comrade Adams Oshiomole who was also from ACN.The only bloc that is yet to have a shot at the national chairmanship seat since the establishment of the party is CPC and supporters of Al-Makura candidacy also believe that he may enjoy presidential backing owing to his CPC background.It is also instructive to know that Al-Makura also enjoys the support of his successor, Governor Abdullahi Sule and some members of Progressives Governors Forum(PGF) being one of its earliest members and Senate caucus.”Indeed, the ultimate goal is to secure victory for the party in 2023 and that Al-Makura, if given the opportunity, would offer better services to the party and country at large. His emergence would not only guarantee a sustainable, lasting peace and unity but stability, equality, progress and development for a better APC.Therefore, it is only fair to say that in the interest of justice, equity and fairness the office of the APC national chairman be zoned to the North central for the CPC bloc that has never occupied the office before to have a chance through Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.