By Ibrahim Tajudeen
A recent study conducted by a group of political reporters on why national chairmen of major political parties in Nigeria fail and get kicked out of office unceremoniously, revealed that the problem may not be entirely due to extraneous factors as widely believed.
While the report concedes outside forces do sometimes play some roles in getting at the chairmen, it was discovered that the main factors were due to inherent contradictions and lack of capacity to manage the affairs of the party.
Specifically, many of the chairmen, according to the survey, failed due to misplacement of priorities as they placed pecuniary considerations over and above sacrificing for the party, while others have been consumed by pride and arrogance, and ill-treatment of party members.
Others have also been found to be wanting in submitting to teamwork and delegation of responsibilities while for others, it is the penchant for crass nepotism and lack of fairness that clips their wings.
As the APC will in the next few months elect a national chairman whose tenure will extend to 2023 when the general elections is billed to hold, It has become imperative for the party to put its house in order in order to retain its winning streak at the elections.
This requires that the party puts all these factors into consideration in the election of a new national chairman for the party as it cannot afford internal divisions in such a crucial time.
In other words, the party has to take specific steps to ensure stability to build a formidable structure that will see it to victory in the next general elections.
But the question is if there’s any among the numerous persons that have indicated interest in the position so far that fits into the above description.
No doubt persons with these qualities can be found among the former governors, serving senators and others who have indicated interests but the challenge is in finding one who by virtue of his past record has combined all these qualities to the advantage of the party.
The right person for the position must, 1) be proven to be a loyal and committed member of the party, 2) not driven by hunger or lust for money but can even sacrifice his personal resources to lift the party, 3) one who is not proud and arrogant but accessible to all members of the party, 4) one who is a team player and delegates responsibilities, 5) one who is fair-minded and just to all members and 6) one who commands respect across the geopolitical zones in the country.
Fortunately, the former governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji AbdulAziz Yari who is one of the top contenders for the position amply fits the description.
From day one of his foray into politics, Yari has shown an uncommon passion for party-building believing that it is through teamwork and cooperation with other party members that the machinery can be no maintained to serve its purpose.
The former governor believes that the party is the vehicle for taking party members to their desired destinations hence must be placed on sound footing before individual interests and ambitions.
Hence as early as 1999, while others were scrambling for political executive and parliamentary positions, Yari chose to serve the party and contested and won as the Secretary of the then All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
Convinced more than ever that the party needs his contribution to solidify and restructure to provide leadership, he contested as Chairman of ANPP Zamfara State in 2003 and won from where he was able to build the party to an extent that it remained for a long time, the party to beat in Zamfara.
Even after building the party in Zamfara by ensuring it returns governors back to back, Yari felt the national body of the party needed him and went to become the ANPP National Financial Secretary and served in this position till 2007.
It was only when he was sure the party has been structured and put on a sure footing that he decided to contest as a parliamentarian and was elected as Member representing Anka/Talata Mafara Federal Constituency from 2007 to 2011.
It was no surprise therefore that Yari will follow that closely and contest as Governor of Zamfara State on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP) winning the seat by an overwhelming majority votes and repeated the feat in 2015 on
the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was while serving as governor that his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) elected him as Chairman of the forum.
Since he became governor, Yari has not only succeeded in making the APC more popular in Zamfara but in Nigeria with his ability to steer the affairs of the NGF with efficiency and class.
Under his leadership Zamfara as can be seen from the results of 2019 elections before it was set aside due to intra party disputes, returned its candidate, Mukhtar Shehu Idris with 67.41% of the total votes, defeating PDP’s Bello Matawalle who got a mere 23.89% of the total votes and trailed behind by a margin of 345,089 votes.
In that election, APC also swept the entire 14 LGAs of the state, defeating all the 42 other candidates.
Yari indeed has this Midas touch that gives any group or association he belongs to an advantage.
That is why many are calling on the APC to elect the former governor as national Chairman believing that with the Yari kind of pedigree the party has a lot to gain from his leadership.
Yari, as former chairman of the NGF has contacts across the nation and commands respect among political leaders in the country hence will have no problems expanding the party structure and making it win in all the geopolitical zones of the country.
He is urbane, suave and highly calculating.
With what the APC has gone through in recent times, it cannot afford not to take the right decision at this crucial time.