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WHY I MOVED FROM APC TO NNPP By Sulaiman Bakari


 



I send respectful greetings to all my esteemed fellow constituents of Jalingo, Yorro, Zing Federal Constituency of Taraba State; and to my political mentors, supporters, associates, friends and well wishers across board.

Just some weeeks to the APC 2022 Primaries, I took the courageous decision to resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after some faithful years, and move over to the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP). As it stands, I'm a bonafide member of the NNPP, having registered at my Majidadi Ward of Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State. I'm equally the Candidate of the NNPP for Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency in the 2023 General Elections. Hence, as a mark of respect for my political leaders, teeming supporters and associates, I'm putting forward this narrative explaining my decision to quit the APC, to foreclose any innuendoes and likely rumours by my detractors as basis for my decision.

Firstly, I'll like to mention that my philosophy in life is anchored on some core tenets; chiefly Justice, Equity, Fairness and Sacrifice. These constitute the building blocks of my passions, persuasions and endeavours in both my private life and in all my social and political engagements.

It was the quest for justice and fairness that made me to venture into student unionism over twenty years ago, as an undergraduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Those who are conversant with my history would recall that on the pedestal of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), I'd traveled across the length and breadth of Nigeria to agitate for improved welfare conditions for students, as well as the reinstatement of unjustly expelled, suspended or other politically victimized students. It was also in the spirit of sacrifice, that I took the courageous step to resign my plum job with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in order to deploy my experience so garnered over the years in contributing my own quota towards the development of our state via contesting the 2019 General Elections with the aim of representing my good people of Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.

Permit me to mention that my last posting with the EFCC was as the Commission's Liaison Officer to the National Assembly. There, I realized firsthand, how my constituency was being shortchanged in the delivery of Constituency Development Projects and Zonal Intervention Projects, and how the yearnings and aspirations of my people were not being adequately articulated on the floor of the House of Reps through Debates, Motions and Bills, as a result of the gross inefficiency of our elected Representative. I joined partisan politics in order to change that sad story.

Furthermore, I launched my political ambition on the platform of the APC because I relied on the much-touted credibility of some key members, especially His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to ensure that the party was anchored on the tripod of justice, equity and fairness. But events in the APC over the years have dampened my optimism in the party, and made me to realize that to a large extent, the APC is not any better than the PDP which it came to dethrone. In a nutshell, we are compelled to choose between a porous umbrella and an infirm broom; in other words, between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The first shocker I received in the APC came in 2018, when I realized to my dismay that in the build-up to the 2019 General Elections, the party did not conduct a credible primary election for my Jalingo/Yoro/Zing Federal Constituency, after making some of us to buy its Expression of Interest Form and Nomination Form at cut-throat prices. Rather, in a kangaroo arrangement, names of party candidates were announced. This sparked-off protests and threats of litigation and quitting the APC by the other aspirants and me; following which President Buhari hosted us to a special dinner at the Aso Rock Villa, where he appealed to us not to leave the party, with a promise that if the party wins the 2019 Presidential Election, its structure would be large enough to accommodate all our aspirations. In deference to Mr. President, we sheathed our swords and kept faith with the party. 

Unfortunately, over three years after the APC's victory in the 2019 elections, nothing in the form of recognition or inclusion into the government has been extended to most of us. It is instructive to note that the APC in Taraba State is anchored on the political clouts, assiduous efforts and finances of some key members. We mobilize our loyalists and incentivize them from our pockets! However, the leadership of the party, who permits the injustices in the party at the state and doesn't contribute a penny to the coffers of the party, is the only one junketing about with the party structures, without reaching out to other dedicated members of the party.

Normally, I don't mind losing to a better co-aspirant in a free and fair election. But all eligible aspirants must be afforded level playing fields by a party, to test their popularity at the ballot. That's the only way a party can nominate popular candidates that can win in the general elections. If the APC Primaries in Taraba State were to be conducted in similar fashion as the 2015, 2019 and even the recent 2022 Presidential Primary of the party, which is seen by all to be free and fair, then there wouldn't be much bickering coming out from the processes. But it is the height of injustice, which I abhor, for a party to predetermine the fates of its aspirants, after making them to go through the rigours of consultation, purchasing Nomination Forms, campaigning across the constituency/State and mobilizing delegates to the primaries. Unfortunately, undemocratic imposition of candidates is the undeniable trademark of the APC in Taraba State.

As they say, once bitten, twice shy. I foresaw the handwriting on the wall that the 2022 Primaries of the APC in Taraba State, particularly the Gubernatorial and my Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, would re-echo the fashion of 2019; where candidates would be undemocratically imposed without elections. And as a stitch in time saves nine, I took the cautionary step of quitting the APC before the sham primary election would be held. Consequently, I considered all the alternative political platforms, and settled for the NNPP, which is a nascent political party unencumbered with baggage of any sort. 

True to my prediction, the APC didn't conduct any credible primary election across Taraba State, particularly in Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, which my supporters and I monitored. The reports of the INEC monitors from Abuja Headquarters; the Police; the DSS; other law enforcement agents and independent observers, would corroborate my position. Moreover, the June 9th 2022 deadline stipulated by INEC for parties to nominate candidates has elapsed. Currently, there are scores of law suits against the so-called 2022 APC primary election in Taraba State, and the candidates of the party at all levels in the state may be disqualified at the court, as was the case of Zamfara and Rivers in 2019. Indeed, it is trite law that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.

With the foregoing, I am pleased to inform all my teeming supporters and the entire good people of Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, that my aspiration for the House of Reps, which was previously scuttled on the platform of the APC, is now alive and fully aglow on the new, dependable platform of the NNPP. With my natural abhorrence of injustice; my predisposition to personal sacrifice; my educational background as a Masters Degree Holder in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; my incisive training and certification by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States of America, as a Fundamental Criminal Investigative Analyst; my years of experience with the EFCC, of which I served the latter part as the Commission's Liaison Officer to the National Assembly; my possession of current knowledge of investigative, analytic and prosecution acumen, along with my in-depth insight of the operations of the legal system in Nigeria, I am poised to offer you unmatched efficient representation at the House of Representatives in the next political dispensation. 

Therefore, I enjoin all Tarabans to crossover to the NNPP en mass, the new credible platform of hope; so that together, we can develop the new party to meet our collective yearnings and aspirations for effective and efficient leadership at all levels in the state. A political party is basically a vehicle upon which we can achieve our political aspirations, and most of the parties have proven to be unreliable in taking us to our desired destinations.

As proof of the injustice and inequity in Taraba State PDP, the party has zoned the governorship position to the same Southern part of the state that has been ruling for almost eight years. Even in its recent primary elections, it still retained the governorship position in the South, to the exclusion of the Northern and Central Zones of the state. Democracy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of injustice, inequity and unfairness. On the other hand, the APC has proven to be incapable of sweeping out injustice even from its own fold, talk more of the larger society.

My fellow constituents, it took me a great deal of courage to leave the APC, after all my financial and intellectual contributions towards building the party in Taraba State; just as it took me great courage to resign my high-paying job with the EFCC to join partisan politics. But all these and more sacrifices, I am prepared to make for the love of my people. Therefore, I earnestly solicit your unflinching support, in my tireless bid to join the critical mass of legislators that would advance the interests of our people on the Floor of the Green Chambers (House of Reps); through sound Debates, Motions and Bills, as well as attracting Constituency and Zonal Development Projects to Jalingo/Yoro/Zing Federal Constituency. Thank you all, and may God bless you.

 

Long live Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency!

Long live Taraba State!!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Signed,

Sulaiman Bakari (SB)

NNPP Candidate for Jalingo/Yoro/Zing Federal Constituency, Taraba State, 2023


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