The case of APC State Chairmen: Time for action is now, By Gital Umar

Posted by News Express | 16 October 2019 | 1,035 times

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•Hon. Gital Umar

Recently, the undercurrent of misgivings among some of our party leaders, notably, some state chairmen of the party, has risen to the surface, thereby worsening the problem of keeping the party together. It is my hope and prayer that efforts being made at various levels, to address these problems, will yield the desired result.

Before I dwell on the issue of the state party chairman, I want to make it abundantly clear that disagreements in political parties are not strange phenomena. In fact, these disagreements are the lubricants of internal democracy. The important thing is to have the honesty and humility to address these problems dispassionately and the courage and wisdom to do the right thing.

Recently, the party chairmen have complained that the reward system of the party has not favoured those of them who made great sacrifices in building the party as well as ensuring the electoral victory at the party level. I think that their case should be resolved before it snowballs into something more dangerous for the party. Actually, the argument for urgent review of the cases of the states’ party chairmen can be made on, at least, four grounds:

It is only natural that a labourer is worthy of his hire. The states’ APC party chairmen took grave risks during the last general elections, in ensuring victory for our party, especially, during the presidential elections. To sideline them in sharing the spoils of victory negates the law of group effort.

Appointments equip party leaders to dispense patronage which is one of the hallmarks of presidential democracy. Patronage, in turn, is the catalyst for party loyalty. If the APC wants to retain the loyalty of the state chairmen of the party, then decisive steps should be taken to empower them and through them, other layers of the party membership.

Allowing their grievances to persist will send the signal, albeit wrongly, that the APC is a party that throws people away, after using them. This will spell doom for the party in future as most people will approach every party issue or project from a purely mercantilist position. We sure do not desire such a scenario but as experience has shown, it does happen when leaders do not intervene fast enough to arrest genuine signals of institutional decay.

Many of the state chairmen possess the requisite credentials for public office or political appointments. In fact, in many cases, they possess the same, if not better, qualifications than people from their constituencies who worked least, that is, if they worked at all; yet were rewarded with more lucrative appointments. The ensuing jealousy is strong enough to derail governmental initiative and momentum which appears to be the order of the day.

The beneficiary of the disharmony in the APC is no other person or party than the PDP. We should be careful not to weaken our party through acts of either omission or commission that end up conceding much leverage to other parties.

Based on the above reasons, I call on the leaders of our great party to dispassionately reflect on the complaints of the states’ chairmen with a view to rewarding them appropriately. 

Specifically, I respectfully call upon the President, as the foremost leader of the party, who is known for compassion and fairness once convinced of the genuineness of a case, to intervene in redressing observed grievances among party leaders, especially, the states’ chairmen.      

Hon. Gital Umar, an APC chieftain, writes from Abuja. 

Source: News Express

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