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For A Genuine Reconciliation In APC


By Ahmad Sajoh

“The basis of reconciliation is truth”
—–An African proverb

I am glad that my people in the APC family are talking about reconciliation. I am not a Christian but I believe the Bible as a word of God because my Religion of Islam says so. Therefore I believe in what the Bible says about peace makers. “Blessed are the Peace Makers” I wish to be counted among them. We need peace within our party the APC because history beckons. We are at the threshold of regaining back our mandates at all levels. Apart from the failures of the opposition party in our state, their arrogant display of power has pitched them against the people and our candidates at all levels are formidable. We are the only party in Nigeria with a Presidential Candidate who has a logo and an Anthem. Like I always say, the ground is fertile for a total takeover in Adamawa State. The minor judicial set back in the gubernatorial candidature is a temporary one and a phyric victory for the jubilating opposition.

But the road to that takeover is peace within the party and the path that peace is genuine reconciliation. Let me accept the words of the state party leadership as expressed by their spokesperson as a very good starting point. He said their visit to Abuja was to consult on ways to achieve reconciliation within our ranks. That is highly commendable. However, if it had to take a statement from another person to bring out this important point to the public, then a lot is still left to be desired. In times of crisis the greatest weapon in the hands of crisis managers is good communication. I said it before and I am saying it again, before Abuja should have been grassroots. Now that we have missed that, we can still redeem the situation. After Abuja should be the grassroots. There is a need to hold town hall meetings by delegations of the state leadership with a few stakeholders in all the local government areas to reassure our members and supporters. Our strength should not be stakeholders (as important as they are) our strength should be the grassroots. Our members and our legion of supporters should be our strength.

I know a lot of people will quickly jump to the conclusion that such a venture of visiting grassroots and holding town hall meetings will require huge sums of money. That is the unfortunate nature of our transactional politics. But it need not be so all the time. In reality all it needs is commitment. Many of us who may not be considered stakeholder-enough to merit being consulted are sufficiently committed to volunteer our time and resources for the good of the party. We have done it before, we are doing it presently and we will do it again and again if need be. Leadership is not only about being elected or appointed. Leadership is being in a better position to influence events than others. On that score I see myself as a leader and for me leadership is responsibility. But that responsibility increases with greater avenues for influence on decision making processes. That’s where our elected leaders are ahead of me. In addition, part of the responsibilities of leadership is the ability to give back to the system not just to benefit from the system. I know for sure that the Organizing Secretary had in the past toured the LGAs and posted such tours on social media. So it’s possible, doable and definitely impactful. And that’s the path to take at this point in time.

Let me also express absolute confidence in the ability, capacity and capability of Barrister Boss Mustapha CFR to lead a reconciliation move of any type. Apart from the high pedestal he is coming from, he is a lawyer and a politician with vast experience. However, he is also a very busy man doing us proud as the engine room and fulcrum of this Government. We cannot expect him to have the time to settle petty in-house querrels. His, must be the final stamp-of-authority process. And when we live his presence we can go to sleep that there are no more bones of contention. Our people say “in the town square during the big dance festival the biggest Masquerade appears last” Barrister Boss Mustapha is our Master card. It must be played with tact and finesse.

But for genuine reconciliation to take place we must all be truthful and honest. All interests must be put on the table. It is not possible for reconciliation to take place if some of the supposed umpires have taken sides. It is not possible to reconcile people on an ego trip where mundane issues like “so and so did not felicitate with me at so and so time” or that “so and so did not assist me when I needed help” do exist. I am not saying these things don’t matter, but they should not determine how broader issues concerning everyone and everything are addressed. One very important ingredient of reconciliation is “forgiveness” and willingness to accept individual limitations as part of human nature. It is not possible for us to relate without hurting each other. After all the thounge and the theeth live together in the mouth but sometimes the theeth bites the thounge. “Zo mu zauna tare, is always zo mu Sabawa juna sometimes” But the antidote to that is forgiveness.

Another important ingredient of reconciliation is openness and transparency. Here I wish to advise the party leadership to be more open with what their reconciliation process entails. Information such as the persons to serve as reconciliators, the contending parties needing to be reconciled, the issues at stake for consideration, the itineraries and the time table of reconciliation visits must be open and transparent. When a reconciliation process is shrouded in mystery it’s not bound to engender confidence. And with loss of confidence comes failure. Unfortunately for us at this point in time, failure is not an option.

Let me also at this juncture speak to the issue of opening more wounds when the current one is not healed. The confusion in Mubi North and South where two chairmen exist, the ill-advised attempt to suspend a sitting Senator from the party knowing that we have no time for substitution and also knowing that the organ of the party taking the decision lacks constitutional power to do so; in addition to the current move to suspend some state and local government leaders of the party are all selfish, self-serving and vindictive mentalities that will serve no one any good including those doing so. No reconciliation can succeed if the dispute is born out of vendetta. If for every disagreement we suspend someone, then soon there will be no one remaining as party leader in Adamawa State. This is because even if only two of them remain there will be disagreement between them. Let us learn to tolerate divergent views. That’s the beauty and Hallmark of democracy. Insisting supremecy is destructive.

Let me remind those at the helms of affairs in our party today that there is nothing as vain and transient as power. It is bound to end as soon as you think it has started. And for some people it ends at the time they seem to enjoy it most. It should also be noted that leadership is a revolving door. As you enter through this way, the other way is open for you to exit. Where is Bilal today? The person you lord over today may easily be your boss tomorrow. After all even “Permanent Secretaries” are not permanent.

As the Adamawa APC moves towards enthroning peace and reconciliation within the party it will be pertinent to remind all members that peace and reconciliation are products of attitudes and actions rather than words. You cannot just say I want peace and you get peace. We must commit to peace and reconciliation. And if we all do it with honesty and sincerity, we will achieve the desired peace and reconciliation.

As always, I come in peace.

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