Saturday, October 16, 2021, Nigeria's most powerful
political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's
Democratic Party (PDP), held their separate State Congresses
nationwide; in which party officials running for positions to lead their parties' affairs
emerged. This is usually the process of preparing the party against
general elections coming up in 2023.
In Adamawa State; which
arguably stands as the heart of Nigerian politics, The People's
Democratic Party (PDP) held its congress in Yola's Mahmud Ribadu Square,
while the All Progressives Congress (APC) held its own at the Yola's
Lamido Cinema. Delegates from all 21 local governments attended the
congress except for three, which were prevented from participating.
Despite the fact that the congresses were not
without incident as a result of the political milieu fostered by
candidates previous to the polls, the exercise was peaceful. Kudos to
security agencies, both commissioned and non-commissioned, who took
adequate measures at the polling stations to ensure the safety of party
officials, delegates, candidates, and their supporters, as well as to
ensure that party guidelines for the elections were followed, resulting
in no breaches of the peace during the election period.
politicians, despite internal party strife from both angles, have
demonstrated maturity, with no parallel elections held in the state, as
in some other Nigerian states. As we approach the general elections in
2023, such sportsmanship should be maintained, so that Adamawa state can
be held up as a model for peaceful and contentious elections.
For the PDP, it was a smooth ride as the former
EXCO, led by Barrister A.T. Shehu, was re-elected for continuity; though arguments were surfacing on the basis that the leadership was imposed
not by the will of some chambers. However, for the APC, it was a hot
game as some members entered the race to unseat the immediate past state
chairman Ibrahim Bilal, who stood firm against all odds and defeated
them to become the party's state chairman.
It is self-evident
that there must be a winner and a loser in any game, and a party may
establish a committee to adjudicate any grievances that may arise from
the elections. However, losers should accept their defeat in good faith
if they are true democrats and stands with norms and values of governance in respect to the state and the country as a whole, while
winners should equally embrace the losers for the sake of maintaining
peaceful coexistence within their party.
Barrister A.T Shehu and Ibrahim Bilal were elected as State Chairmen of the PDP and APC, respectively, on the basis of their previous achievements while steering the affairs of their parties, and it is hoped that they will build on their achievements to garner more support for their respective parties.
Those who have not made it should see themselves as part of the winning team, not as a stumbling block in their party's progress, and should not be fooled by the adage that "in politics, there is no permanent friend, only permanent interest," but should keep in mind that politics is not a do-or-die game.