APC AND PREPARATIONS FOR THE NEXT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN KATSINA STATE: REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISALS

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By Mannir Shehu 

 Democracy is defined as "a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by the people or their elected agents under a free and fair electoral system" (Merriam-Webster, 2002:97). 

Accordingly, Norman Mailer, in a New York review book of March 2022, exclaimed that democracy is the noblest form of government that man has yet evolved. 

This is more apt in the description of the Katsina state All Progressives Congress (APC) intra-party preparation for the coming local government elections. The APC seems to be far ahead in evolving its intra democratic structures, which emphasized cohesion, representation, and inclusivity. 

The structures
 are firstly anchored by the Central Working Committee (CWC), which comprised the Governor, Malam Dikko Umar Radda Ph.D., His Excellency former Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, former Governor, Barr. Ibrahim Shehu Shema,  the Deputy Governor, Sarkin Fulanin Joben Katsina, Honourable Speaker of the State House of Assembly, three distinguished serving Senators of the state, the SGS, the Chief of Staff, Malam Jabiru Tsauri Lamidon Katsina the first, former Senators, serving and former members of the Federal Executive Council from Katsina state. 

Others include Party elders such as Alh. Ibrahim Masari, distinguished Senator Abu Ibrahim, and members of the Katsina state APC CWC, among others.
 
Secondly, the local government caucus which comprises of the members of the House of Representatives serving and past,  the members of the State House of Assembly serving and past, the local government Chairman, APC party Chairman and the party Secretary as well as commissioners and special advisers.

 At the bottom is the Ward caucus which comprised of any member of the State and Federal Houses of Assembly, any local government chairman, serving and former, any member of the state and National Executive Council (NEC) from the ward, serving and former Councillors from the ward, APC ward Chairman and ward Secretary as well as other party elders from the ward.

 It is in light of this noble democratic arrangement and the results that followed, that one is inclined to reflect and appraise the success or otherwise of the past week of the Katsina state APC activities.

Apparently, the APC of Katsina state in this peculiar climate of politics in Nigeria has clearly organized a visionary perfected system comparable even to American Democrats or Republicans which in fact required a rebuilding of government afresh because the people have agreed to simply transfer their allegiance from the local level institution to an extra legal committee of party caucuses.

Without a doubt, this arrangement would ensure justice and fairness while also avoiding the influence of factions, which could kindle the flame of dissent within the party.

Historically speaking, until now, national political parties in Nigeria have generally appeared to be weak in terms of structural edifice of support, loyalty, fairness, and justice. They have indeed been very weak in the ideological orientation. 

The argument, therefore, that the parties have not adequately represented significant different shades of opinions and people can not be pushed to any logical conclusion in this Katsina state APC internal arrangement. 

This is because the present quadrennial consensus arrangement, which gave party men the right to nominate their candidates, have achieved an impressive level of partisan solidarity and internal discipline. 

The significance of this arrangement can be attested in the tranquility that ensures after the consensus exercises across the state especially, against the backdrop that the party now have evolved more cohesiveness, members have become more politically formidable, vigorous and highly motivated.
 
 As we reflect on the outcomes of the consensus arrangement, the effectiveness of the state CWC, the local government and ward caucuses, cannot be overemphasized because the APC in Katsina state has now assumed a new identity of representativeness, inclusivity, organizational ability, fostering party alignment and realignment, camaraderie and entrenched structural dominance.

In conclusion, a big, loud Clarion call is hereby made to all party members to be alive to their membership duties, to be strong, to remain vigilant to the ideals of the party, to be steadfast in their beliefs, to eschew all acts of bitterness, to redoubled their support for the amiable, people oriented government of Mal. Dikko Umar Radda, Ph.D in the light of his achievements less than one year in office: the revitalization of Agriculture in the state, the comprehensive overhaul of the state Healthcare system, the far reaching reforms and repositioning of the state educational system, the revolutionary Katsina city renewal project, the consistent, tireless and results oriented war against banditry which has culminated in securing the lives and property of the citizens of the state, and more importantly, the entrenchment of the culture of honesty, fair play, and transparency in all governmental activities of Katsina state.

For these and many more, we must all close ranks and remain our brothers' keepers, whether in or out the present arrangement. That governor Radda is working enough to forge ahead as one and remain hopeful of the coming days .

Manir Shehu is the Executive Chairman of Kurfi local government area of Katsina state.

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