The constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Article 20, encourages the emergence of candidates for various positions by consensus. The wisdom behind the inclusion of the consensus option, in addition to direct and indirect primaries, is to make primary elections less acrimonious as well as inculcate democratic spirit in the politician. This would help address the winner takes all disposition which often leads to internal party crisis.
The other huge advantage of the consensus option, is the fact that it will help the party go into the general election united. If the party is able to avoid the usual crisis that trails primaries.
The recent National Convention of the APC, where the Senator Adamu Abdullahi-led executive was elected, was largely by consensus. And in few instances, where some aspirants refused the consensus option, they were made to slug it out. The result is that the party, which had been written off for dead, has rebounded and in a pole position to record unprecedented victory in the 2023 general elections. The resounding success of the APC national convention makes the case that consensus is the way to go.
In Kaduna state, the time tested consensus option led to the anointing of Senator Uba Sani, presently representing Kaduna Central in the Senate and Chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, as the consensus candidate of the key stakeholders, unarguably the most powerful wing of the party.
Thankfully the APC constitution, which protects the interest of aspirants like Sani Shaban, automatically triggers a primary contest once there is a dissent. It doesn’t really matter that Sani Shaban, by the way, is largely unknown to the party members.
So the endorsement of Senator Uba Sani, doesn’t in any way stop Sani Shaban, a serial governorship aspirant, backed by the likes of Tijani Ramallan, from testing his popularity at the primaries on May 18. The eternal beauty of democracy, is the minority having it say, while the majority has it’s way.
The unnecessary controversy generated by Shaban, is towards a sinister and demonic end -the factionalisation of the APC in Kaduna. Those opposed to the reform programme of the Nasir El-Rufai administration, have always believed that the only way it can defeat El-Rufai, is to foment crisis.
Shaban, who is now seen as poster boy of that opposition, has a notorious history of precipitating crisis that dates back to 2007, a strategy that he obviously doesn’t intend to change,since it had worked in the past. And like they say, you don’t change a winning strategy.
In 2003, Sani Shaban, on winning election into the House of Representatives on the platform of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), had disappeared, only to stage a comeback in the 2007 general elections. While he was gone, late Senator Ahmed Aruwa, had solely funded the ANPP, but aided by some unscrupulous party officials at the headquarters, Shaban declared himself the governorship candidate of the party.
The crisis triggered by Shaban, led to the defeat of the ANPP by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2007 election.
Just as in 2003, Sani Shaban, who has been on AWOL from the APC in the last seven years, characteristically resurfaced some weeks ago, brandishing a nomination form purportedly bought by his children.
If only the media had asked Sani Shaban about his participation and contribution towards the upkeep of the APC, which is zero. It is important to stress that the APC would have been long dead, and wouldn’t have been there as a vehicle for Shaban to try and actualize his ambition, if the other key stakeholders, Nasir El-Rufai, Uba Sani, Sulieman Kwari, he has been deriding, behaved like him.
But being a card carrying member, Sani Shaban has an inalienable right to participate in the 18th May, 2022 governorship primaries,a right which hasn’t in anyway been infringed by anyone.
As things stand, Shaban is a stranger to the APC family. Otherwise he would have known that the Kaduna State Chapter of the APC, since 2015 has been successfully managed by Nasir El-Rufai, the state leader, through the consensus option, to the satisfaction of the members. Because he has been an absentee member, Sani Shaban, doesn’t understand that the the APC kaduna State Chapter, has remained united,unlike the situation in other states, where the state leaders(governors) attempt at maintaining a firm grip on the party, have led to serious divisions.
What the El-Rufai group has done, is to reduce the chaos of primaries, by agreeing on Senator Uba Sani, as its consensus candidate, a choice that truly reflects the preference of the rank and file of the party. Sani Shaban, and the other aspirants will face Uba Sani, who has an insurmountable lead, going into the primaries.
El- Rufai has consistently made it clear that his successor will come from within the core team,which Sani Shaban or Bashir Jamoh , don’t belong to. So on what grounds would they have been invited?
The bar of governance of Kaduna State has been raised beyond routine governors. Sani Shaban , Bashir Jamoh,and Isa Ashiru represent the ugly past,that the people have rejected.
It’s a great pity that the media typically unquestioning, didn’t take Sani Shaban to task on his several claims. It’s preposterous that Sani Shaban, a “foundation APC member”, would describe consensus,which is enshrined in his party constitution as undemocratic.
Adamu Abdulahai, National Chairman,APC ,has shown political experience in the nine guidelines for presidential, governorship and legislative aspirants. The guidelines includes an undertaking not to challenge the outcome of the primaries in court, without first exhausting internal redress processes of the party, and an undertaking to support whoever emerges as a candidate for the general election
Clearly Sani Shaban and his likes working on causing crisis, have seen that APC is not ANPP, and that Adamu Abdulahai, won’t take nonsense from aspirants. In one word, Adamu Abdulahai is telling the aspirants, learn to live with outcomes, that don’t favour you.
Sani Shaban represents crass opportunism that the APC must stamp out. Members of the party,owe it obligations, like payment of dues,attending party meetings etc, beyond buying forms to run for political positions.
Musa writes from Kaduna.