Good bye All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Welcome Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). This best describes the exit of General Muhammadu Buhari; a two time Presidential Candidate of ANPP, the party seen by many before now as an amalgam of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I join millions to celebrate this move and congratulate His Excellency for this bold and long awaited decision aimed at arresting the drift of our dear Country for lack of focused and qualitative Leadership; two reasons that have made some Western countries penultimate reach the conclusion that Nigeria is a “Failed State”.

Now that Buhari is out of the ANPP and presumably going into what one may call his natural habitat, the CPC, because of its ideological grounding. It is therefore important to caution Distinguished Senator Rufai Sani Hanga who today superintends as the Interim National Chairman because we can see dozens of political hunting dogs of the Central Establishment on the move claiming among other things “Sai Buhari” in order to win the heart of those in control now and gradually but steadily get themselves into positions from where they can cause collateral damage to the movement. It is our belief that care must be taken as to who gets what or becomes what. A classic case to illustrate what am talking about is the case of Chief Edwin Ume Ezeoke who from being the National Chairman of the ANPP was honoured and picked as a Presidential running mate to General Buhari.  We believed it was a bad choice but being down the ladder hardly will your objection be heard not to even talk of being sustained. As such we went into the 2007 general elections with the best Presidential material the country has on offer flying the ANPP flag but painfully with a mole as a running mate. So he contributed to whatever followed thereafter and suddenly, he ended up with the party and other clumsy political juggernauts of the ANPP in a contraption tagged “Government of National Unity” begging for the position of an Adviser to the President to be given to his son just back from NYSC and the other one seeking for his own wife to be appointed Minister; while the Presidential petition which they insisted must be filed was still before the Appeal Court. This is one of the serious betrayals suffered then but we kept to faith until the infamous 3 to 4 verdict of December, 2008 by the Supreme Court which ended it all.


Now that we are repositioning for another shot at the Presidency, it is important we take stock and ask ourselves what went wrong? It is not enough to always assume that all those shouting Sai Buhari are true to it; some are political jobbers paid to act as spoilers from within. This calls to mind events preceding the Kaduna Presidential rally of 10th April 2007. It was clear that PDP paid those entrusted to organise the event to subvert it. So they organised a “Press Conference” and told the world that “ANPP Presidential rally has been put off, Kaduna state government denied permit”. This was carried as a front page story by the Leadership Newspaper in its edition of 10th April, 2007. Unknown to these fraud stars. We have obtained permit from the police 10 clear days before the event and paid for the use of the Kaduna Township Stadium through the Ministry for Youths and Sports. As such, I and my team of four spirited young Turks succeeded in successfully hosting the Presidential rally described as one of the best in the country. While one of those paid to subvert the rally spuriously wept in the Stadium as he sat watching events as they unfold from the grand stand. What a sweet revenge?


That is not all, it can be said that close to the Presidential elections, some people were busy compiling names of who will be Minister and all sort of funny ideas to the extent of pencilling those that will not be allowed access to the Villa. This is clearly opportunistic and an irresponsible way to manage things. Get out there and work for the success first. There are also those who were given Agents allowances but disappeared into thin air on Election Day never to be seen or reached on their mobile phones. Here again, impromptu arrangement had to be made to draft Aid group workers to serve as agents because ANPP had non in many polling booths across Kaduna state.


Now Distinguished Senator, some of this people are still very much around pretending to be Saints. Be careful, this could be our only chance. For this reason, let it be known from the onset that CPC is not and will not be a continuation of the ANPP. To demonstrate this fact, we must make sure that no ANPP office is converted to CPC office or individuals allowed to rent offices for the party. Be warned; PDP has released a lot of money for this purpose and we can easily fall prey to their machinations. Anybody whose commitment and sincerity is in doubt should for goodness sake not be given any position of responsibility that he can utilise to cause havoc. We also know of those that have links with the Villa visiting Obasanjo at 1 a.m. while pretending to be Buhari’s die hard. It can be said that as the opposition had lost its fervour and opted for worldly things – money, women and cars, this   gave PDP the chance all this while that wealth meant for the benefit of the common man was being diverted into private pockets and personal Accounts of the rich and the powerful in government. We must resist this, and the only way to do it is consistency in principles and rigidity of character.


Mr. Chairman, be careful with the intrigues in Kaduna State because before now, there are about 4 factions of the ANPP all operating at cross purposes with each claiming to be genuine; they are now all in the CPC. Central to all this is the selfishness of the leaders of the groups who perceived political authority as a means to enrich oneself, while others are bent on running the affairs of a political party as an NGO. They are now all on ground holding meetings and devising means to capture the leadership of this new outfit. Some of them have even gone on air to say that those that are not with them in the previous dispensation will not be registered in the CPC. This is an uncivilised and a very undemocratic way of reasoning. For sure this message cannot be from you; so why do they go on air to say this bullshit?  Simply put, this is the attitude of some busy body who claim they are Buhari’s war Commanders but beyond their sanctimonious pretences, they are a buddle of confusion, lacking depth of character and principles.


This is why I cannot but agree with Iqbal when he said rather philosophically-“to exit in a pure duration is to be a self and to be a self is to be able to say “I am”. Only that truly exist which can say “I am”. Now, it is the degree of the “I amness” in all these people parading themselves as Buhari’s loyalist that will determine their place in the scale of things in this new movement. Everybody must be judged by what he can do and not who is backing him. It is only through this that we can have a break from “Political godfathers” an issue that has contributed in no small measure in putting wrong people at the right position of authority. So if we must succeed, let’s have it right from the onset. This has become expedient because, ANPP failed due to the absence of internal party democracy. So now that we want to nurse a new movement, it is incumbent that the leadership must be built on solid democratic ideals else we end up repeating the same old mistakes.


 Intelligence at our disposal indicated that of the 4 groups scrambling to get the leadership of the new Movement in Kaduna state, quite a number have a pact with the PDP government in the state. Two of them were close to the leadership of the ANPP and partake in all what the leaders did; mortgaging the party when it matters most. One was tested briefly for leadership but suddenly jumped at a chance offered by the PDP led state government to go on pilgrimage  only to say that the Hajj seat was an allocation from the National Council of Women Societies Abuja, which checks at that end proved otherwise. Simply put, anybody allocated Hajj seat from Abuja flies through Abuja not Kaduna. If he must fly through Kaduna it has to be the Headquarters not Chukun local government as it turned out to be. So all this inconsistencies counts a lot in determining who our leaders should be. For too long we have been taken for a ride by this set of political jobbers. Now is the time to get it right and we must face the reality of things as they unfold to avoid the mistakes of the past.


Mr. Chairman, you will agree with me that there existed in the ANPP too many internal contradictions due to the selfishness of its leadership and their desire to sell the party for their personal gain. That was what made the continuation of any solid and vibrant opposition impossible for fear of being exposed. This is the more reason why upright and committed individuals must be given the mantle of leadership in the Congress for Progressive Change and not lackeys who will quietly take us to the slaughter house for whatever price.

If all the splinter groups as identified in this write-up are sincere to themselves and to this new Movement, there are those amongst them who for sure know that they cannot lead but for the selfish and inordinate ambition of some individuals backing them, they want to be hoisted on the people at all cost. What does this suggest? It simply means putting self before the ideals of the CPC and the larger society and for this reason such people are by every standard of judgement unfit to lead. Ideally, we must always look at the collective interest of the people or those we are saddled with the responsibility of leading not our personal likes or dislikes.


 We must all have it at the back of our minds that the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change is meant to usher in “Security, Stability and Prosperity” for the people of Nigeria as such, care must be taken on how we go about packaging our activities for now. Let it  also be known that CPC is a true Nigerian party that does not discriminate against anybody. Any member of the CPC is a brother/sister to any other member no matter to what tribe, creed or state the other may belong.

Finally, let it be known that Leaders who are sincere don’t need to advertise that fact. It is visible in everything they do and before long becomes common knowledge to all. Likewise, sincerity cannot be hidden or covered up. The only way to keep the goodwill of those you represent or lead is to deserve it. No one can fool all the people all the time, we now know better!

Muhammad Ali


0803 314 7562, 0809 644 4540.

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