*Dogged General of the APC army in North East Nigeria
From Kabiru Tijjani
Change is ubiquitous in our society, particularly in that which strives to fulfill human needs.
The first step toward change is awareness and acceptability, Dr Umar Duhu was the Pioneer National Vice Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the North East, He lead a multi ethnic region while remaining committed to Democratic principle’s / norms is an uphill task.
This is because incorporating several ethnic groups into a single political entity means bringing together the basic problems of ethnic conflict as well.
Having gone through sixteen years of struggled in the opposition from the APP, ANPP to the merged Legacy Parties which gave birth to APC, indeed, Duhu has been a factor with a strong mind. Umar Duhu came from the same constituency with the likes of Barrister Ahmed Ali Gulak former Political Adviser to Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmadu Umar Fintiri the Former Adamawa State Acting Governor and Barrister Bala James Ngilari the former Governor of Adamawa State.
All these persons hails from the same home town, same Local Government Area, and despite persistent persuasion to take Duhu to their side, he refused to join them in the PDP and in government, purely on principle and for good and betterment of the APC, having succeeded in the ANPP as Chairman in the FCT he break the record of making sure ANPP won Senate and one House of Representatives in the Federal Capital Territory in the 2007 elections.
Duhu chaired ANPP in Adamawa State as the State Chairman where he doubled as the Chairman for the forum of ANPP State Chairmen from 2010 until the consummation of the merger which gave birth to APC in February 2013 when Nigeria’s three (3) biggest opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) merged, wherein Dr. Umar Duhu emerged as it’s pioneer National Vice Chairman North East, the position he held and succeeded in registering all notable member’s into the APC, who prior to the consummation of the merger, were not members of the Defunct legacy parties (ACN, ANPP, CPC). Prominent amongst them are:
- Alh. Atiku Abubakar GCON and all his followers across the North East
- Admiral Murtala Hammayaro Nyako GCON, his government and all his followers across Adamawa State.
- Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara and his constituency of Tafa Balewa, Dass and Bagoro in Bauchi State.
- Senator Gov. Muhammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindo and all his followers.
- Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan and all her followers in Taraba State.
“What is surprising and disheartening to us is the reward system of the APC? Despite time, energy, and sacrifices, and the successes recorded by Duhu during the daunting task of structuring the APC for the 2015 general elections, Duhu is still left out in the colds. We are all living witnesses to the fact that Duhu was responsible for bringing the APC platform that Governor Muhammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindo and all those who won election under the APC in Adamawa State used to climb the larder.
Today, Duhu is yet to be allowed to board the moving ship as its substantive owner. Most of us who Duhu convinced to keep faith with the APC, has not seen the agile Duhu accommodated in either State or Federal Government. What is then our faith as loyal followers? Rather, we shall continually remain discouraged with disappointment as third class citizens in our beloved Party – APC?
Indeed, we have begin to wonder if truly APC is truly interested in the change mantra that preached fairness and equity which Nigerians keyed and voted it into power.
Where is the Change we yearned for? If the like of Umar Duhu that has been in the opposition for 16 years and after all his sacrifices to the victory of APC in the states and the nation at larger?
Alas, the office of the APC National Vice Chairman is today vacant as a result of the appointment of the former occupant as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, it is not too much for the APC to give back the position to its rightful owner, who held the position effectively with records to show.
The way our history will be written depends upon the extent to which sacrifices were made. We shouldn’t live in the history of the past but the future. If APC is about justice and it is willing to govern as pace setters; truly Dr Umar Duhu merits any executive appointment and the least, to occupy his former position as the National Vice Chairman North East of the All Progressives Party, APC – Change!!!
Kabiru D. Tijjani writes from Abuja.