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Abuja APC primary: Candido’s victory and imperative of reconciliation


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The much awaited primary elections of the ruling All Progressives Congress [APC] in Abuja Municipal Area Council, [AMAC] has come and gone, with Abdullahi Adamu Candido emerging victorious with a total of One Hundred and Thirty Four [134] Votes. He defeated his nearest rival, Tanko Yamaho with Thirty [30] votes, in a keenly contested primary election. The build-up to the election itself was reportedly rancorous as one of the contestants was said to have been disqualified on the 14th of December 2015, before the contest on the 16th of December 2015. 

Less than one week after the primary elections, eight [8] of the contestants have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB], alleging exclusion in the just concluded elections, according to Daily Trust and Leadership newspaper reports of December 18, 2015. The allegation of exclusion and report of disqualification of one of the candidates in the election have shown that some of the candidates in the primary elections were not happy with the outcome. Their grouse may be that the party denied them their right to fair contest. Ordinarily, these complaints, could lead to the cancellation of the entire primary elections, if found to be true. But in this particular case of area council elections, APC does not have luxury of time to contemplate new primary elections now. The only practicable option for the party is to pursue reconciliation.      

Although, this writer would have called for outright cancelation of the primary elections for a new one if time is on the party’s side on one hand, and if the winner of the election were to be any other candidate order than an original inhabitant of the Federal Capital Territory[FCT], on the other hand. The reason for the later position is that for the past sixteen [16] years, the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] has been producing the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council [AMAC]; the same party has now elected an original inhabitant of FCT as its Chairmanship candidate in their own primary elections. In this scenario, political pundits do not need rocket science to know that a formidable PDP as an opposition party, coupled with an indigenous chairmanship flag-bearer, is a dangerous political arithmetic that must not be toyed with.  To this end, only an equally formidable original inhabitant APC candidate can effectively square –up with PDP and win the forth coming area council elections in AMAC for the party. In this context, the emergence of A.A Candido could best be described as a round peg in a round hole. 

To this writer and fair minded people in FCT, what is needed now is for the national leadership of APC to commence inclusive reconciliation of all aggrieved contestants in the last primary elections. In doing this, no effort should be speared in seeing that the contestants are brought back to the party’s fold as one family as usual. The party is advised to make all the aspirants in the just concluded elections joint winners. The best way this can be done is to find accommodation for them in the government via appointments. From this writer’s investigation of the political temperaments of those candidates, they are willing to respect the decision of the party, if they are called upon. There is no doubt that if genuine reconciliation is initiated by the party, AMAC will be APC’s for the taking. On the other hand, A.A Candido should be magnanimous in victory. Just as the party is expected to embark on shuttle diplomacy to calm frayed nerves within APC’s fold in AMAC; Candido on the other hand, should carry everybody along in his government come May 17, 2016 as he will no doubt, become the Chairman of the Council. He should run an inclusive government where everybody will be accommodated, irrespective of religion, tribe or gender. He must ensure that in his campaign train, all the aspirants that contested against him should be on board. 

There is no doubt that APC is poised to reclaim FCT from PDP. This is an opportunity that must not be allowed to slip away through rancor and bitterness within the party. The goodwill of Nigerians is there for APC to tap into; the wonderful performance of PMB-led administration so far, is also there to be leveraged on by the APC flag-bearers in FCT. Here, only the APC can constitute an opposition to itself. For Hon. A.A Candido, he must do the needful now; the rest will fall in place.

Emeka Oraetoka

Information Management Expert & Researcher 

Wrote in from Garki-Abuja


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