By Kola AMZAT
As Nigerians await the national convention of the All Progressives Party, APC, expectations are high that the party will elect a chairman with a clear agenda to reposition, restructure and rebrand the party for it to have the potency and vibrancy of pre-2015 general elections. There is no doubt the party has lost considerable ground on account of the seeming lack of capacity on the part of the leadership.
Party discipline, internal democracy, respect for party leadership, observance of traditions, ethos and norms which are the hallmarks of progressive are simply lacking in the party at present. National Assembly members of the party chose to operate on their own most of the time. Persistently, they’ve been at the loggerheads with the executive arm, until, recently, when semblance of orderliness and normalcy seems to prevail. Governors also constantly act on their own and ditto for party members across the nation. The same goes for party organs at the state and local government levels simply because the national leadership is not providing the platform for proper co-ordination and cohesion. These are shortcomings capable of consigning a party to the dustbin of history. But, there is an ample opportunity to redress the situation.
Therefore, as the new year opens and the party prepares to go into the convention, a visionary candidate should be on the cards of party members to be elected as chairman. Its also imperative to give consideration to a party man with political pedigree and antecedents,as well as the one with presence of mind and sound intellectual background to assume the exalted office. In view of the fact that the first major assignment of the new NWC is to deliver victory during the 2019 elections, the candidate must also be a political fighter and articulate to convince the electorate on rally rostrums while selling the party to attract the patronage of Nigerians. The party needs a chairman capable of leading his troops to political war fronts and defending its manifesto, policies and programs.
Engaging PDP strength for strength
Members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are aware that they might have lost the battle to come back to presidency; nonetheless, they won’t go down without fighting. In Prince Uche Secondus, they have a complex and politically savvy chairman, who would be supported to the hilt with adequate funding, logistics and other resources by Governors Wike, Ayo Fayose and other south/south and south/east governors. Of course, the battle to make in-roads to the south/south and south/east by the APC would not be a tea party. This is where a party chairman and his team that would engage them gut for gut, rascality for rascality, strength for strength and oratory for oratory must emerge.
The immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole, seems the right candidate to lead APC to the battle in 2019. He is a veteran of political battles having berth in Edo governor’s office after Herculean electoral battles fought in the political field, election tribunal and court of competent jurisdiction. While presiding as governor of the state for 8 eight years, he fought to a standstill all political godfathers. He also had a glorious and memorable career in unionism. He indeed brought a new dimension to union movement while presiding over labour affairs as its president for several years, a platform he deployed to challenge many obnoxious policies of successive governments. Adams is bold, courageous, cerebral and, of course, he is a dogged fighter.
President Buhari and the indefatigable national leader and political strategist of our time, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, must be encouraged to give serious consideration to the candidature of Adams Oshiomole as the next chairman in the interest of the party. Assuredly, he has the capacity to bring new lease of life into the party. He has the charisma and character to restore discipline, orderliness, honor and dignity to the party He also has the drive, in abundance, to steer APC to victory during the forthcoming general elections.