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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Protecting Yahaya Bello and others through inclusiveness in APC – By Seyi Olorunsola



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As the political landscape continues to evolve, the All Progress Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, is facing a pivotal moment that requires a reevaluation of its approach towards internal cohesion. The need to bridge gaps within the party and foster inclusivity at all levels has become paramount for the sustenance of the APC’s unity and strength.
Of particular concern is the party’s tendency to remain aloof when members find themselves embroiled in controversies. Additionally, there is a growing concern about the treatment meted out to party members who have fulfilled their terms of office and are no longer holding political positions. In contrast to some political climates where every party member is considered a critical stakeholder, the APC has room for improvement in this regard.
Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the esteemed Party Chairman, is implored to initiate measures that will foster holistic inclusivity within the APC. It is essential that every party member, regardless of their current political standing, feels protected from unwarranted attacks aimed at tarnishing the party’s image.
Two glaring cases serve as poignant examples of the need for enhanced party cohesion. Firstly, the treatment of the Gubernatorial Candidate of the APC in Kano State during times of controversy fell short of the ideal. The propaganda machinery set up and allowed to run rings around the media and the judiciary by the NNPP in Kano was not properly check-mated by the APC leadership and its political office holders.  Whilst the APC was all over the place saying that due process should be allowed to play out, the NNPP was using all manner of blackmail to advance its case.  The party leadership must learn from this experience and develop strategies to provide unwavering support to its candidates, countering propaganda effectively and ensuring a united front against external attacks.
The second case under scrutiny involves the relentless attacks and harassment of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, H.E. Alhaji Yahaya Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is currently happening. The party as the father-figure of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has not said anything in his defense in the aftermath of what is happening. The APC leadership must be proactive in addressing such issues, standing firmly with its members in times of adversity. Allegations against party members should be handled judiciously, avoiding a scenario where individuals are left to defend themselves against unrelenting external pressures.
These cases underscore a broader pattern of the APC seemingly leaving its members vulnerable when they need the party’s support the most. In light of these challenges, it is imperative that the party leadership, from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Chairman Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Board of Trustees, the National Working Committee, and the National Executive Committee, closes ranks with all party members who have lost elections in recent cycles. A collaborative effort is needed to integrate their valuable perspectives and experiences into the ongoing affairs of the party.
I urge the leadership to take proactive steps towards fortifying party unity and cohesion. The APC’s strength lies in its collective resilience, and it is time to demonstrate unwavering commitment to every member, regardless of their current political status.
In conclusion, the APC must rise to the occasion and showcase its dedication to inclusivity, ensuring that no member is left isolated in the face of challenges. By closing ranks and fostering a sense of belonging among all members, the party will undoubtedly emerge stronger and more united, ready to face the dynamic political landscape ahead.
Hon. Seyi Olorunsola, an APC chieftain, writes in from Abuja

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