An Open Letter to the New Chairman of APC—By Abdulmumin Jibrin

I’m excited to join the legion of well-wishers rushing to celebrate your victory at the recent convention of the All Progressives Congress. As the new chairman of what’s arguably the largest political party in Africa, the tasks ahead are understandably daunting, but your choice in this critical time is a divine intervention and may your leadership serve as a conduit to the stability and harmony for which we have been yearning to deliver on our electoral promises to the people of Nigeria.

I count myself extraordinarily lucky, above all, to have enjoyed sustained interactions with you, benefiting from your mentorship in the early days of my career. So, I’m advantaged to testify to your courage, honesty, suavity and extensive experience in leading a diverse group or entity. Your unifying trait is enthralling and has made you a model, earning you the well-deserved nickname—The Bridge.

No bits of my memories of your leadership and interventions in Nigerian dynamic politics are uninspiring, and you were generous in sharing your experience with us to guide our journey into the terrain. One of such lessons was during my stint as a member of your core team during your presidential bid sixteen years ago, which was guided by a strong desire to make a difference in Nigeria.

I was by far the youngest member of your team but you insisted on my attendance of all meetings and participation in all activities as we transversed the length and breadth of this country and beyond to market the beautiful dream you promised Nigerians. It was a valuable learning curve and, most importantly, it gave me an opportunity to witness your confidence in the potential of our youths and convictions in their political and intellectual capability.

I was utterly privileged to reconnect with you again in the 7th, 8th and 9th National Assembly, and it was a pleasant coincidence that we were part of the leaders in the 7th Assembly that coordinated the unprecedented defection of over 80 sitting senators and members of the House of Representatives from the PDP to add strength to the APC ahead of the 2015 general elections at huge personal risk. It was a decisive and audacious move never seen in the political history of our country.

Similarly, in the 8th Assembly, you were the Chairman of the Pro-Buhari Parliamentary Support Group in the Senate while I was the Chairman of the parallel Group in the House of Representatives. These offered us the avenues to mobilize members of the National Assembly towards ensuring maximum support for President Muhammadu Buhari under your guidance. In the 9th Assembly, we sustained the momentum, worked day and night, and made huge sacrifices to ensure that Senators-elect and Members-elect toed the party line in the election of Senate President, Speaker of the House and other principal officers.

Mr Chairman, Sir, this brief rehash of political history is to underline that you have paid your dues and swam against all forms of political tides. An Engineer, lawyer, former party chairman, former chairman of NTA and Benue cement, member constituent Assembly and constitutional conference (1979, 1994), Minister, Governor, Senator and renowned farmer, the list is endless. Your credentials are inimitable and this trail of your records across various spheres of our national life makes your traditional titles— Sarkin Yakin Keffi and presently Turakin Keffi—worthy, for you have always believed in our traditional institutions.

I know you close enough to testify to your valour and values: pragmatic in your approach to issues and a reliable problem-solver; a capable hand and a war general. No wonder you have never lost an election in the 40 years of your political career. With ease, I can say APC is in safe hands. I have no doubt that you will bring to bear your knowledge and experience in carrying out this huge responsibility on your shoulders and lead our great party towards progress and prosperity.

Congratulations once again, Sor. Allah SWT YA taya riko. Amin.

Your son,
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin

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