APC chairman: New vision, new direction

On June 21, the youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held its one-day conference at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to press home its demand for youth inclusion in party decision making and other sundry issues. The interactive session was well attended by speakers, party delegates, serving and non-serving members of the APC across the 36 states of the federation.

They were united in one voice to demand a change on how the party is being run – the system ran by the former handlers allow party leaders take the bulk of decisions even as it relates to issues affecting the youth.

For the young people, it is time to have the frank conversations about the direction the APC as a party is headed for and carry out an unbiased analysis of the party’s challenges and its chances in the upcoming elections – especially the 2023 general elections that is fast approaching.

These challenges that necessitated the take-over of the party structure by the caretaker committee are offshoot of the malfeasance and highhandedness of the previous handlers of the party who took important resolutions concerning the welfare of the party without due consultations with the youth wing and other organs of the party empowered by the constitution to partake in key rulings. 

The fallout of this singular action was visible even to the discerning minds, loyal founding members of the party watched the discordant memories that flickered at the last general elections and its aftermath.

In every corner of discourse, there was discontent, silent rumblings soon rent the air and the uncertainty that greeted the atmosphere at every pronouncement meant that the game was up. It was time to replace the captain and his crew before the ship is completely sunk into the abyss of nihilism. This is what happens when merit is never a part of the equation for holding important offices, and self-esteem and integrity are discountenanced.   

While the rescue mission is well on course, it is not yet uhuru, as the APC must be mindful in admitting new set of people into leadership positions to avoid a repeat of past missteps. In this regard, the youths cannot be faulted in their demand for a well-blend of refined leaders of the new breed to fill the vacant positions within the party. 

As announced earlier by the party, from the 31st of July 2021, we’ll begin to witness aspirants fill various positions at ward and state levels to set the ball rolling for the National Convention which is likely to hold much later in the year.

The fireworks have equally commenced among the candidates for the vacant National Chairman position of the APC. For the first time, the young people in the party have taken a resolute stand on the qualities expected of the would-be new National Chairman of the party, indicating a departure from the status quo where competent young men were shoved aside for the frayed strain of leaders who have refused to exit the stage for young, pragmatic, agile, plain-spoken breed.For the national chairmanship, the pendulum seems to be swinging in favour of former governors and serving senators.

There are strong indications that the party may not be favourably disposed to the having another former governor as national chairman, considering the perceived authoritarian nature of Adams Oshiomhole-led exco which nearly sent the party into an untimely demise.  

Another key factor that will work against these popular aspirants: Senators Abdullahi Adamu, Tanko Al-Makura, George Akume and Danjuma Goje is their age. They are in their late 60s or 70s, which will not go down well with the youth wing of the party who are poised to ensure that a younger person occupies the position. They have since prevailed on these crop of career politicians to give their support and guidance to a much younger candidate with fresh ideas and a new vision. 

Rightly so, the youth have realised their numerical strength and are determined to utilize their voting power in the coming elections. Recall that 70% of voters in the 2019 general elections comprised young men and women and this figure will rise significantly in subsequent elections.   

Among the two other candidates left in contention who meet the requirements set out by the youth are: Senator Mohammed Sani Musa and Mallam Saliu Mustapha. Not much has been heard of Mustapha in recent times, but Sani Musa has featured predominantly in national dailies as one of the key contenders from the North central zone – preferred to produce the next national chairman of the APC.

Musa is a serving senator from Niger state who many have attributed as the ideal man for the top party job. Musa is fully accustomed to the essence of party politics. With administrative experience that span across the public and private sectors, he’s a loyal member currently serving the party in many capacities.

Musa understands that political parties serve as vehicle for achieving control of government for the betterment of the people. He’s young and a contemporary politician that has been consistent on his positions and matters concerning the party since the merger of the three political parties (CPC, ANPP, ACN) nto APC in 2013. 

Fearless, determined and very clear in his thoughts, Sani Musa is not your regular politician that dances to the whims and caprices of a godfather in order to seek elective positions. 

He is a stabilising factor, mobiliser and a bridge-builder, who is capable of sustaining the people-oriented policies of President Muhammadu Buhari and sustain the party’s winning streaks. 

No doubt, Musa remains the people’s choice to drive the ‘new vision’ and steer the party towards a ‘new direction’ amongst the best and innovative party of this modern era.  

Whether the party settles for consensus or goes into contest, Sani Musa remains the consummate choice of the young people with a strong character to deliver the polls for the party and unearth new territories to improve the fortune of the party.

Abdul-Malik writes from Abuja