Editor's note: A public affairs commentator based in Gusau, Ibrahim Madugu, writes on the relationship between the former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari, and the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and to end the speculations that the duo are planning to leave the ruling party.
The visit of the former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari to the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in London obviously sent jitters in many political camps, especially in Zamfara.
The immediate byproduct of such fear was the bunch of lies from speculators on the purpose of the visit. The biggest of such was the hysteria that the two political heavyweights were working to come up with a new political party that will wrestle power from the APC in 2023.
Ordinarily, one would not pay attention to such mischief except for the concerns that such illusions and nightmares when repeated can deceive the gullible and unsuspecting minds.
A little step in the recent engagements of former governor Yari would be enough to demystify the antics of these speculations. In July 2021, after the Eid-el kabir festival, Yari had a consultative meeting with major stakeholders of APC from all the senatorial zones of Zamfara state at his hometown of Talata Mafara. The meeting took place in four sessions with all party stalwarts from the 147 wards of the state in attendance. In the last session of the series, former governor Yari made the historical declaration that demonstrated his political fidelity and acumen.
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On a podium with APC constitution in his hand, he declared in unambiguous way to the mammoth gathering that he would never decamp from APC! In his words,
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“I'll rather accept a situation of impoverishing and coming back home to tilt the inherited farmland of my father than leave the APC!”
“The reason is simple, it is not brave enough nor in our character to leave the house we built.”
Yari used the opportunity to narrate the story of how he, as the then governor of Zamfara state, was among the 11 serving governors of then legacy parties of ANPP, ACN and CPC that came together to form the APC, they later joined hands with the new PDP comprising of five governors and other top political heavy weighs to win the 2015 general elections.
Party members who were not as close to Yari and especially the new entrants into APC were surprised and taken aback by this declaration, more so, considering all the assurances the new entrants were given by the Abuja politicians that Yari and his group are definitely leaving APC the day after they (the new entrants) decamp from their party to APC. But those close to Yari were not surprised because they knew how the former governor talks about the foundational roles he played in building the party with relish and the commitment to stand by it come rain or shine.
The interesting thing in all the concoctions of lies like the one at hand is that their sources and financiers are easily predictable. After two years of running a government without any direction since 2019, the PDP led government of Zamfara state wanted to cowardly reap where it didn't sow by decamping to APC through the window. The leading reason to their desperation to come to APC was the genuine political reconciliation that emerged from Governor Yari and Senator Marafa groups among others that left no space for PDP government to imagine victory at poll in 2023 amidst very poor performance. The basic calculation was that Governor Yari led team will be frustrated out of APC by the forced decamping move. To their surprise, Yari's commitment to APC even increased by adding the volume of his assistance to cater for the new party members trooping from PDP. This was a great shocker to the mediocre who didn't mean well for APC and the state.
Obviously, their biggest shocker was when they see the relevance of Yari in the national matrix of the party waxing with the London visit to the Party Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, among others. Party stakeholders with healthy minds who know the historical antecedents of APC will be surprised that Yari’s visit to Tinubu was a point of mischief. Pertinent questions such as how far was 2013 that people forget the role played by the two political giants in forming APC? Where were these actors of mischief when Tinubu’s house in Lagos was sieged with armored vehicles and battle-ready army?
Remember the poster "This is not Sambisa Forest. Wrong posting" on the fence of Tinubu’s house on Bourdillon road in Lagos in protest to the siege. Where were they when Governor Yari hosted the convention in Gusau that saw the formation of APC? Were they even aware that it was Yari who sourced the money to settle ANPP caucus who felt that the merger would not take place until they were paid their investment in building the party?
Answers to these questions are very simple: while Yari and Tinubu were busy forming, building and preparing the APC to defeat the PDP, the new APC champions were in PDP looting and sharing monies meant for arms purchase to fight Boko Haram in Sambisa! The evidence to this was the fact that some of them went into self-exile after President Buhari was declared winner of the election for fear of their actions. They came back to Nigeria only after making various refund of the arms’ money they looted.
It is therefore nor surprise that these people are jittery with Yari’s visit to the elder statesman and APC Party Leader, Senator Tinubu and begin to make wild speculations. Their envy beclouds their thinking and they forgot that APC is a house that was built with the heavy presence of Former Governor Yari and Senator Tinubu's hands. That Yari visited Tinubu in London should have been interpreted by healthy minds as a move to make the house stronger. Regardless of what naysayers think, both Yari and Tinubu have unfettered access to President Muhammadu Buhari, who equally visited Senator Tinubu in London, to channel any concerns they have for making APC the dream party for Nigeria rather than consider a new party.
They both have a common history of sticking to their party come what may, Senator Tinubu never abandoned his party even when the going gets very tough during Obasanjo era when he (Obasanjo) swept the whole of southwest except Lagos! Yari like Tinubu never changed political party except by reasons of change of name (APP to ANPP) and political merger (ANPP to APC). The two are too politically involved and informed to rise above the devilish conjunctures of the novice opponents. Former Governor Yari and Senator Tinubu remain the enviable APC stalwarts in their domains and the country with strong resolve for the success of President Buhari administration and the victory of the party in 2023.
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