When the national leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) visited Taraba State recently, it was not only for trouble-shooting. The visit was both a rescue mission to salvage the party from collapsing and a bold step to fashion out workable strategies that could enable the party wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The fact that PDP has been piloting the affairs of the state from since 1999 has been a source of great worry to the opposition. As such, the APC rescue team, which stormed the state with representatives of the party’s National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Panning Committee (NCECPC), was particular about reconciling aggrieved APC stalwarts.
Checks by The Guardian revealed that the visitors did not only succeed in reconciling mistreated members, but also put in place modalities to ensure that party faithful in the state closed rank and worked collectively to make APC win all elective positions in the forthcoming electoral contests.
Straight to business
NORTHEAST representative of the APC NCECPC, Prof. Tahir Mamman (SAN), who led the reconciliation team, did not waste time or words to remind the party faithful of their responsibilities. He urged them to put aside their differences and work round the clock for the collective interest of the party in Taraba State.
Drumming on the need for all aggrieved members to sheath their swords, Prof. Mamman said that was the minimum condition for genuine reconciliation, stressing that the party has enough room to accommodate all members and even welcome a lot more.
While reiterating the party’s determination to hold tenaciously to the tenets of internal democracy, Mamman declared: “There should be justice and a level play ground for all, regardless of background and class. We must work together if we really want to achieve desired results.
“We are all critical stakeholders and must allow unity and party interest to prevail. You must begin to select leaders and your representatives based on their track records of good works and worthy characters rather than sentiments and biases.”
Mamman, who is a senior lawyer, reminded Taraba APC chieftains that it “is very important that we distinguish ourselves from the norm that has kept party system in the country backwards for so long.” He harped on the need for the party leadership to as well carry the womenfolk along and ensure that they are fully represented in all the activities of the party. This, he said, could be achieved by accommodating women when allotting chances for elective positions so that they do not feel sidelined.
Mamman maintained that gender inclusion cannot be overemphasized, even as he pleaded with members to bury the hatchet and allow the party to take its proper position in the state come next general polls. He assured that the various presentations made by aggrieved members would, as a matter of urgency, be taken into consideration by the national leadership of the party.
EARLIER, Taraba State chairman, Mr. Tukur El-Sudi, a lawyer, said he could not fathomed why APC faithful in the state are being relegated to the background by the national leadership of the party despite their immense contributions to the growth of the party. He lamented that after working hard for the party’s success, Taraba APC continues to be poorly represented at the federal level.
The chairman enjoined the Federal Government to consider giving more positions to party members from the state, alleging that all the empowerment projects packaged by the Federal Government for Taraba, have been hijacked and repackaged by the state government for PDP faithful alone.
While insisting that APC has demonstrated steady progression in the state in the last two general elections, the chairman said the party is well positioned to displace PDP with adequate support from the APC Federal Government. To drive home his belief that the party’s dream of forming the next government in the state is achievable, El-Sudi broke down the performance of the party in both 2015 and 2019 elections. He contended that with just a little push from the national level, “winning the 2023 governorship election as well as that of both the national and state House of Assembly in the state is very possible.”
But, the chairman noted with regret that “no single member of APC from the state was appointed into any position of the federal government,” and therefore urged the APC national leaders to immediately fashion out ways of addressing the plight of party faithful in the state.
“APC’s control of power at the federal level is not felt in the state, especially among the APC members, I cannot understand why empowerment projects meant for the state from the Federal Government always end up in the hands of the PDP-controlled state government.
“It is sad that such projects are repackaged by the same PDP government and doled out, while APC members, who have been working round the clock to rescue the party from extinction are always not considered in such projects.”
The chairman disclosed that the most devastating affront to the party is the “inability of our party leaders at the national level to carry our women along. Women are not also carried along, despite their contributions to the party during the elections.”
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