Letter to APC chair on power rotation to Kogi West

Senator Abdullahi Adamu,
National Chairman,
All Progressives Congress, APC

Dear Sir, we are writing this open letter to you and other major stakeholders of our party, the APC, because of our concern for the survival of the party and its victory in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi state. Your silence at this time when there are a lot of pertinent and emergent issues that should be addressed is worrisome. We are therefore reminding you of your responsibilities to provide answers to the ragging issue as it concerns the zoning of the governorship ticket of APC for the 2023 election in Kogi state. The way and manner this issue is addressed by the leadership of the party will determine the survival of the party in the state and avoid the doomsayers’ prediction that the issue of zoning will finally lead to implosion in Kogi APC.

Many may not have told you the truth, but we are seizing this opportunity to tell you that the issue of the zone to produce the next governorship candidate of the APC is now at the front burner. The people of Kogi west district have not hidden their expectations and have since given indication that it is their turn, based on the zoning principle, to produce the next governorship flag bearers of all the major political parties in the state. However, our party, the APC, which is the ruling party in Kogi state, to the consternation of all well meaning citizens of the state, has not come up with its position on the matter or given any indication that it will indeed zone the ticket to Kogi west.

Even though some respectable political analysts and newspaper columnists like Comrade Musa Wada, who is from the Kogi East zone, and Dr.Tom Ohikere, the publisher of APC news online and a former two-time commissioner for information in the state, from the Kogi central zone, have written open letters to you and other major stakeholders raising the need for the party to resolve the zoning issue, you have kept mum and not deemed it fit to assuage the fears of members of the party on the implications of ignoring the cry for justice and equity for the Kogi west people on the fortune of the state. When freedom is offered on a platter of gold, the value of the platter far often overshadows the offer and that is what the people of the Kogi west are saying to the party, Mr. Chairman.

It is imperative to put the record straight on this matter as your silence and that of other major stakeholders of APC is no longer acceptable to us, the concerned members of the party. Since the creation of Kogi state, the Kogi west zone has never produced either an administrator or the governor of the state. It is also true that the Kogi east zone has severally produced the state governor. Kogi central zone is presently occupying the office of the governor – Yahaya Bello – who is rounding off his eight years tenure. With this statistics on ground, it is therefore expected that we should allow the Kogi west zone the opportunity to produce the next governor of the state.

Since the advent of the fourth republic in 1999, Mr Chairman, there has been an unwritten convention in the country for power to rotate between the North and the South for the presidency and between the zones in the states. This is what has happened in Kogi state because both Kogi east and Kogi central have got their fair share of this convention.

Today, as we approach the 2023 governorship election in Kogi state, aspirants for the APC governorship ticket are in frenzy preparing for the primaries of the party and running extensive campaigns. But, the APC hierarchy, which you lead, is keeping mum without its leaders intervening on the clamour for power shift to Kogi west zone for the sake of equity, justice and fairness after the Kogi central has served out its terms.

It is important and advisable that the APC leadership takes note that as the debate on zoning ticket of the party for the 2023 guber election continues it should lead by example as the ruling party to lead by example. The matter has placed a moral burden on politicians from Kogi east and Kogi central zones, who have at various times in the past successfully insisted that power must rotate to their zones – who seeks equity must do equity.

As pivotal as zoning is, the position of some respectable leaders of Kogi East and Kogi central zones and some of their foot soldiers do not show that they genuinely understand that the party will be fractured politically if this issue is not properly addressed to serve as the healing balm towards the election with one accord.

The governorship position in the state is highly sensitive. It is the most powerful and influential position that confers the greatest sense of belonging to any ethnic or geographical area that produced him or her. Therefore, every segment of the state craves to have a piece of the cake That is why morality is the sandwich of the Kogi state guber election and indeed, the 2023 election for the guber seat is not an exception, Mr. Chairman.

The questions therefore before us as a party to answer and quickly too are: which zone has not produced the governor of the state? Considering the issue of rotational power in order to correct the vexed issue of imbalances among the three geopolitical zones in the state, especially the Kogi east, central and west blocks, under the present circumstances, whose turn is it between these blocs come 2023?

Already, this has started generating heat among the gladiators as we move closer to November and the momentum continues to build up. It is important for APC to know that one major factor that will largely determine the outcome of the state guber election is power rotation or zoning between Kogi east, central and west political blocs.This is what would also determine the internal democratic practices of major political parties that will participate in the forthcoming election in the state. Zoning is now a trap which the opposition parties are expecting us to fall for so that they take advantage as it is touted that the PDP is finalising to zone their ticket to Senator Dino Melaye, if we fail in this regard.

While it is good to clarify for those in the party who may be hiding under legality to wish away the zoning debate, we agree that t
zoning or rotational power shift is not enshrined in the party constitution or any of our electoral laws in the country. But there exist an unwritten understanding which is being been practiced in the party at all levels since its creation and it is uniting the party and giving every segment a sense of belonging and inclusion. It is my candid opinion that the party under your leadership should make its position known on the issue of zoning in Kogi state.
The party as a matter of urgency should convene a stakeholders’ meeting on this issue and at the end issue a communique that the party leadership reiterates its resolve and commitment to equity, justice and fairness and unanimously agree that the guber candidate of the state will emerge from Kogi west zone. This, Mr.Chairman, will constitute our winning formula for the election.

As members of the party and the political class await the unveiling of the party’s position on zoning of the guber seat, whatever formula our party comes up with, fairness, equity, justice and the unity of the party must be the overriding consideration. There will be no APC in the state if there is no Kogi state. Therefore, the interest of the state must override the personal interest of some of our leaders who are pushing for the party to jettison the zoning arrangement for their parochial interest.

[Finally, Mr Chairman, our state is presently overwhelmed by the enormity of problems the party is trying to resolve; the party is not expected to compound its woes by its action or inaction instigating one section against the other in the state over the issue of zoning of the APC candidature for the 2023 guber poll in the state. This would bring to shame those that think the party would “scatter” in 2023 because we trust their doomsday prophecy would fall.

Dr Ahmad writes on behalf of Kogi Almagamated APC Integrity Group

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