Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has done it again.
After pivoting the affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Chairman of the Ondo State Governorship Campaign and delivered the party in the South West state in 2016, Lalong’s ideas have again ruled at the just concluded APC presidential primary.
With the successful conclusion of the APC primary, Governor Lalong’s fight for justice and equity which has ensured peace in Plateau State for the over seven years he has presided over affairs in his state, has been transcended to the national level.
This is the big takeaway from the just concluded presidential primary which held at the Eagle Square in Abuja and which many have applauded for its sensitivity to Nigeria’s multiculturalism as well as equity and fairness for the nation’s unity.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) went ahead to choose their candidate based mainly on linear and partisan consideration, the APC was more considerate as it took into cognisance the feeling of a large section of the country and decided that in the overall interest of Nigeria give all sides a sense of belonging.
This is based on the understanding that since the North, with President Muhammadu Buhari, would be completing eight straight years by 2023, that it is only fair that the South should take the next shot at the presidency.
But this this did not happen by chance as some of the leaders of the APC, mainly the APC Northern Governors had to stick their necks out to ensure that the right thing is done.
Governor Lalong of Plateau State who chairs the Northern State Governor Forum (NSGF) was at the forefront of this campaign for equity and justice which eventually paved the way for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to emerge as the presidential flag-bearer of the APC.
The 14 governors took a position that the presidential ticket of the APC should go to the southern part of Nigeria for fairness.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues at the conclusion of the meeting, Lalong also asked aspirants from the northern region to withdraw from the race to clear the path for the aspirants from the South.
He said, “It is a question of honour for the APC, an obligation that is not in any way affected by the decisions taken by another political party” and to a large extent, it was this position that provided the paradigm shift for the party to go for elections rather than consensus and paved the way for Tinubu to clinch the party’s ticket.
As many have rightly said, if there’s any group of persons that deserves praise for seeing that the APC respected the principle of zoning and takes into cognisance the sensitivity of the populace, it is the APC Northern governors.
Now that the APC presidential primary is over and Tinubu has been announced as the candidate of the ruling party and given the flag, there is the need to focus on what will improve his chances at the general elections.
Whatever choice the presidential candidate makes at this stage, will give an indication of his understanding of the nation’s political dynamics and give a glimpse of his vision for the country.
SOURCE: MATTHEW TEGHA