In choosing a successor, every leader would want to have the freedom to decide who takes after him/her. However, in political leadership, more often than not, this privilege eludes the one who leads. Not necessarily because the leader might not have done well but because, most times, circumstances make the leader’s choice an unwelcomed venture.
It is in the light of the above that the quest for the successor of the Women Leader of the Ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in Nigeria becomes a venture that commonsensical disposition must be applied in order to get it right.
In politics, equity and fairness are the cardinal principles that not only hold a political party in undivided bond but also ensures its success at the larger competitions.
To start with, the nomination of the former Women Leader of the great party, APC Dr Betta Edu as a ministerial candidate by the President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has created a vacuum in the Women’s wing of the party. This, no doubt, needs to be filled. And in filling this vacuum, it is incumbent on Dr Edu and all those responsible for producing the next Women Leader to be retrospective in their choice and ensure that equity is not only enthroned but justifiably so. This will not only ensure stability in the party but will save it from avoidable and unwarranted distractions.
APC is a pacesetter in crisis management going by how it has been able to navigate its hurdles both before, during and after general elections. But the crisis that may arise as a result of the choice of the new Women Leader is, at the moment, avoidable, provided the right actions are taken.
APC has surmounted several crises and has remained stronger ever. For instance, most recently, a few months after the general elections and swearing in of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the party’s Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore resigned their various positions. Replacements were immediately made without any brouhaha.
Another situation that is rearing its ugly head which the party must quickly resolve before it gets out of hand is the successor for its Women Leader, Dr Betta Edu, who has been confirmed as a minister of the Federal Republic.
There are reports that she is plotting to handpick her successor. Not only that, she wants the person to come from Cross River State,to the extent that the state is currently awash with speculations that a certain lady from Cross River State is already parading herself as the New National Women leader of APC and has already opened a platform as the National Women leader while the party has not made any announcement on the replacement.
There is nothing absolutely amiss in the choice of her successor if the report is to be believed but will such move ensure equity and justice to other states in the South South geopolitical zone? Certainly, the answer is in the negative.
Granted that the party zoned some of its national leadership positions to the region including National Vice-Chairman, National Publicity Secretary, National Women Leader, Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Welfare Secretary, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Special Leader and Zonal Women Leader.
In order for equity and fairness to be entrenched, the zonal leadership of the party micro-zoned the positions amongst the six South-South states. The positions of the National Women Leader and Zonal Special Leader were zoned to the Cross River State. Within the state, the positions were further zoned to Central and Southern Senatorial Districts. The Central produced the National Women Leader in the person of Dr Betta Edu while South, the Zonal Special Leader.
However, with recent occurrences, it is pertinent that the position of Women Leader goes to another state in the South South since Cross River already has two ministers from the state. This, in the spirit of equity and justice, will give other states a share of the political positions. To have the Women Leader and a minister in the same state and the same Senatorial District will breed injustice within the party.
This could lead to an avoidable crisis that the party does not need at this point. Every member of the APC women party structure contributed immensely to the emergence of President Tinubu at a time when the men were undecided.
Consequently, it’s fitting that for balance and equity, the position of Women Leader of the party should go to another state in the region to maintain the existing cohesion and unity within the party.
The Laurels International Magazine