By Bala Ibrahim.
Running a government, a party, or an administration can be burdensome, especially if you want to carry everyone along or have the all-inclusive itch. That feeling of including everything or everyone can be arduous, but not unachievable. As a political party that is at the threshold of a general election and an election in which it is intending to roll over its achievements, the APC is faced with many challenges, one of which is internal wrangling. There are still some forces in the party with differences in opinion that arose from the party primaries to the national convention. While such dissents are normal in a democracy, the chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu is not ready to allow them to linger for long, especially because the campaign for next year’s elections would commence soon, as such, the party must enter the race as a united force.
It was Abraham Lincoln, lawyer, statesman, and the 16th president of the United States that said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. The simple interpretation of the phrase is, that if members in a group fight against one another, the group will fall apart. The APC, under the leadership of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, is not ready for the risk of going into the election as a divided house, hence the resolve to adopt the all-inclusive and all-gender agenda, with the intent of enthroning internal party democracy.
Indeed the party has a good and established mechanism for the settlement of internal disputes, but that notwithstanding, the chairman and his abled management team, feel there is a burden on them, to work out a win-win template for implementing such a settlement mechanism. It has to be done in a way that would not only address the party travails but assuage the aggrieved party members.
There is no gainsaying that out there, there are several party members and supporters that are aggrieved with happenings in the party in particular, and the government in general, some even feeling let down. But the all-inclusive and all-gender agenda of Abdullahi Adamu is intended to promise a new turning point and one that would carry along the old members, as well as open the doors for the arrival of new ones. Sen. Adamu had successfully done this before; there is nothing to stop him from doing it again.
The party is going into a general election that would include the election of a new president. And unlike in the last presidential election, where Muhammadu Buhari was the candidate on the ballot, this time around, the party is presenting another personality, who, although new on the presidential ticket, but not new in the political space of Nigeria.
The new ticket is coming with a peculiarly new challenge, accentuated and maneuvered by the mischief-makers, to create social strife and religious bad blood in the body politic of the country. Yes, the ado about the Muslim/Muslim ticket is intended to bamboozle some Nigerians into unnecessary divisiveness.
The all-gender agenda of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu would address such issues appropriately, and give all believers of faith equal opportunities, as provided for by the party. It is the concern of the chairman to address the concerns of every believer and even the unbelievers, alongside the concerns of youth and women, particularly such concerns that affect rights, as enshrined in the party constitution.
Although there are issues that are yet to be settled with regard aboutand value of women’s participation in politics, under the all-inclusive agenda of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, women, regardless of their faith and age, should feel unperturbed, because there is a provision for their adequate inclusion in both elective and appointive positions.
As someone coming from the Senate, and one that is interested in executing the manifesto of the party to the fullest, it is the ambition of the chairman to see to the implementation of such sections of the party manifesto that strive to:
a. Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, job creation, and economic empowerment.
b. Recognize and protect women empowerment and gender equality with special emphasis on economic activities in development and rural areas. And
c. Promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in the National Assembly for women.
All these are geared towards addressing some of the thorny issues of internal wrangling, to carry everyone on board.
The part played by women in politics is not only seen as paramount by the Chairman but pre-eminent. Principally, women come under a tripartite classification, viz: mothers, daughters, or wives. But in the ambition of Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s all-gender agenda, a fourth grouping is added -the sisters.
To demonstrate his gender friendliness and the all-inclusive agenda, on my first day in office, and while introducing me to the principal officers, the Chairman specifically asked if I know the women leader. I said no. Pointing in the direction of a lady seated on the sofa to his left, he said, “over there is the deputy women leader, but I would make sure you also meet the women leader in earnest, because, ours is not a male-dominated setting”. He had made similar remarks with regards to the youth, and buttressed the assertion last week, at the palace of the Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar. This goes to prove his readiness to carry everyone along, through the policy of inclusiveness, which incorporates the all-gender agenda.