The odds are stacked against Al-Makura becoming the APC's national chairman. - OLAMORE
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The odds are stacked against Al-Makura becoming the APC’s national chairman.

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IMMEDIATE past governor of Nasarawa State, Umar Al-Makura, is said to be enjoying the backing of powerful forces within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to emerge the national chairman of the party.

Al-Makura, who is currently representing Nasarawa Central as a Senator, sources told Sunday Tribune, appeals to virtually the groups within the party because of his antecedents.

It was gathered that some power brokers in APC are strongly pushing the campaign that the next national chairman of the party should be from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the only legacy party yet to occupy the position.

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Chief Bisi Akande, who was the protem chairman of the party, came from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and was succeeded by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

The immediate past chairman of the party and former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was also of the ACN, leaving CPC as the only legacy party yet to hold APC national chairmanship position. It will be recalled that Al Makura was the only CPC guber candidate that won and became governor in 2011, defeating an incumbent from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Aliyu Doma.

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His election, however, left PDP in the majority in the state House of Assembly with 20 out of 24 lawmakers and out-maneuvered attempts by the PDP-dominated assembly to impeach him. Al-Makura, during one of his consultations with stakeholders in the NorthCentral where the position is believed to have been zoned, said the reason he is gunning for the position was to bring the much-needed cohesion to the party.

A reliable source in the know of the intricacies of the power play in the party told Sunday Tribune that “it is not for the fun of it that Al Makura is fondly called ‘the first political son of Buhari.

“He has won the admiration and support of President Buhari long before now. He comes across to the president as a trusted ally who will do the right thing and shun the temptation to be bought by power hawkers for selfish gains,” said the source.

Being a former governor, his aspiration is also said to have drawn support from the camp of serving and former governors and lawmakers who strongly believe Al-Makura won’t succumb to pressure or pecuniary consideration in the discharge of his duties as national chair.

Another source informed Sunday Tribune that the power brokers in the party are not prepared to break away from the already established tradition in choosing the next chairman.

“The power brokers are not ready to gamble by bringing somebody who has not held elective position, someone who will not know how to ward off undue pressure. Al-Makura has executive and legislative experience,” said a party source

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