Party Chair accused of not implementing decisions, using Buhari as cover-up
PDP kicks against deadline extension
By Omeiza Ajayi
Amid confusion over its presidential election primary, All Progressives Congress,APC, is enmeshed in crisis.
Like in the past, the problem this time also emanated from the barely two-month-old National Working Committee, NWC, of the party led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
A member of the NWC and National Vice Chairman, North-West, Malam Salihu Lukman, accused Adamu of not implementing NWC decisions.
He said the party Chairman is using President Muhammadu Buhari as a cover-up for the former’s inability to make headway regarding the screening of presidential aspirants.
Lukman said that despite the multitude of challenges afflicting the party, Adamu has remained largely inaccessible.
He also lamented what he described as the non-adherence to extant labour laws concerning staff welfare and conditions of service.
An ally of Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Lukman is the immediate past Director-General of Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, a think-tank for governors of the ruling party.
In a letter dated May 27, 2022, and addressed to Senator Adamu, he accused Adamu of running a one-man show.
He copied several leaders of the party including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and the Progressive Governors Forum.
Others copied include a former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, ex-chairmen of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; APC National Leader,
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former National Chairman of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party ANPP, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu as well as members of the Adamu-led NWC.
In the letter, titled:’Rebuilding APC: Need for New Initiatives’, a copy of which was sighted by Sunday Vanguard, Lukman called for a review “of our approaches under the current National Working Committee NWC under your leadership”.
He, however, hailed Adamu for some initiatives which he said have so far raised a lot of expectations.
“For instance, meetings of the NWC are held almost on a weekly basis. Members participate and where necessary engage and contest issues. It is to your credit that you accept the positions of members even when you disagree. This is a remarkable departure from what obtained in the past where the National Chairman conducted meetings of party organs as Chief Executive and to that extent, therefore, exercised prerogatives and overruled members,” he stated.
Lukman, meanwhile, noted that the big challenge is ensuring that decisions taken are implemented.
According to him, the inability of previous leaderships under Adams Oshiomhole and Mai Mala Buni to implement decisions taken was partly responsible for the leadership crisis that confronted the party.
He said as things are, the party leadership has suspended every initiative to reform the Secretariat, understandably so, given all the challenges of meeting deadlines for electing party candidates for the 2023 elections.
The party official said the danger is that “what we inherited will soon become the acceptable practice and new Directors and workers would be employed without any commitment to meeting the provisions of the law concerning employment standards.
“The other challenge is as NWC, we seem to be handling very critical responsibilities of managing affairs of the party very casually. The case of appointing Screening, Primary and Convention Committees is a good example. Again, although with your prompting, a committee was set up under the leadership of Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Abubakar Kyari with the task of managing all the processes, eventually the committee was unable to discharge this function.
“Partly because of that, for instance, although the National Convention to elect the party’s Presidential Candidate is scheduled for May 29 and 30, less than 48 hours, we are yet to have a Convention Committee in place. In fact, the presidential aspirants are yet to be screened.
“The official explanation is that you are awaiting final consultations with President Buhari. At the risk of sounding agitated, this is unfair to President Buhari because to the best of my understanding, it is an attempt to use the President’s name to give excuses for failure, if it happens, which should not be the case.
“As NWC and as our leader being the National Chairman, I want to appeal to you on the need for new initiatives in managing the party. At the rate we are going, we are walking back to the old spot of over-centralized implementation of party decisions around the National Chairman.
“Increasingly, critical challenges of managing important tasks such as organizing a national convention to produce a presidential candidate of the party are being handled informally. This should not be so, and everything must be done to correct that.
“Finally, the issue of conditions of party leaders, including the NWC members is completely left unattended. The official excuse is that you requested a budget. Consequently, for two months, no decision has been taken to pay members of the NWC. The specific details of entitlements of NWC members are being reduced to speculations. This is very unhealthy and should be corrected.
“Partly, this is giving legitimacy to many unethical practices which would appear to be influencing the conducts of some members of the NWC.
“I wanted to meet you to discuss these matters. Unfortunately, it has proved difficult and I feel very strongly about these matters. I hope that you will be able to prioritize developing good relationships with individual members of the NWC to accommodate our perspectives in handling the task of rebuilding our party, APC.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has berated the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, for extending the deadline for the conduct of party primaries.
The commission had extended the date to June 9, citing requests by political parties.
But PDP in its response accused INEC of bowing to pressure, describing the development as unfair.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said this on Arise Television..