Nigerian Politics

APC finances: Adamu running one-man show, Lukman knocks party chair

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APC finances: Adamu running one-man show, Lukman knocks party chair

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The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Malam Salihu Lukman, has yet again knocked the National Chairman of the ruling party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, of singlehandedly taking decisions at the expense of the National Working Committee.

This is even as he revealed that Adamu has repeatedly evaded giving an up-to-date account of the party’s purse including the undisclosed billions of naira raised from the sales of nomination and expression of interest forms to aspiring contestants at the just concluded 2023 general elections.

The latest indictment is coming on the heel of a similar claim Lukman made before the APC Convention last year when he accused Adamu of failing to carry the NWC members along in decision-making.

Piqued by recent development in the administration of the party national secretariat, the Kaduna politician raised an alarm that he had uncovered some anomalies, which he considered as ‘very shocking.’

In a leaked letter dated May 27, 2022, and titled ‘Rebuilding APC: Need for new initiatives,’ the NWC member warned that the leadership of the National Working Committee could “snowball” into oblivion like the previous administrations of Adams Oshiomhole and Mai Mala Buni.

The letter, which was addressed directly to the chairman, also copied the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu and all the NWC members.

One year after the drama, the same Lukman again indicted Adamu of reducing the NWC members to a mere rubber stamp to approve important decision he singlehandedly took.

In his statement titled “APC and Questions of Progressive Credentials,” which was issued in Abuja on Monday, the former Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum noted that aside from failing to render the state of the party account in the last one year, it is common knowledge that APC staff at the secretariat are hired and fired at will by the national chairman without recourse to any organ, including the NWC.

He said, “As a member of the NWC, I can say without fear of contradiction, all decisions bordering on managing the finances of the party are being taken by the National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and the National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore. Most members of NWC are reduced to onlookers or at best rubber stamp. All appeals for accountability have fallen on deaf ears. The decision of the NWC to convene the NEC meeting in August last year was simply sabotaged.

“Yet, it is public knowledge that the party has earned billions of Naira in revenue from sales of forms to aspiring contestants for the 2023 general elections. We are yet to, as NWC, declare to any organ of the party how much we inherited from His Excellency Mai Mala-led Caretaker Committee and how much was received as donations and contributions for the 2023 elections. Large-scale expenditure, which include the renovation of the National Secretariat complex are being undertaken without any organ of the party exercising the powers of due diligence.

“Once the party’s constitution is no longer the guide for managing the affairs of the party, discretionary decisions of leaders take over. Consequently, even what get paid to party officials and organs becomes acts of benevolence by the National Chairman or anyone he delegates. As a result, something as fundamental as the decision on what proportion of the party’s income is paid to States, Local Governments and Wards is exercised solely by the National Chairman and National Secretary. Party staff are hired and fired by the National Chairman and National Secretary without report to any organ, including the NWC.

“Given all these, there are embarrassing reports of party members who served in Screening, Primary and Appeals Committees for the 2023 elections yet to be paid their allowances. There was also the case of aspiring contestants for party offices during the March 28, 2022, National Convention who voluntarily stepped down in the spirit of facilitating consensus and therefore entitled for refunds of the cost of their nomination forms who are yet to be paid.”

Lukman’s alarm is coming one month after a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission to investigate the alleged financial impropriety and fund mismanagement rocking the ruling party.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, the former APC deputy spokesman also appealed to the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, to dissolve the current NWC, adding that none of the current members deserves to be retained.

When the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, was called for a reaction, he declined to comment.

“I have nothing to say on it. You, people, are at liberty to report whatever you want to write on anything concerning it,” he said before cutting the line.

The APC Director of Media and Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, could also not be reached.

As of the time of filing this report, he did not return the calls of our correspondent nor replied to the sms sent.
(Punch)