The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is in the throes of a crisis, two months into the tenure of the party’s current hierarchy.
The APC National Vice Chairman, North West, Salihu Mohd Lukman, is accusing the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, of running the party as a sole administrator, taking decisions without reckoning with other party officials.
Lukman, in a May 27, 2022 letter to Adamu sighted by The Tide source urged caution to save the party from crashing.
“Under your leadership, the current NWC is gradually snowballing into similar circumstances whereby decisions taken are allowed to lay bare and, in some instances, changed without necessarily taking needed steps to carry members along,” Lukman said.
He also said Adamu had been dropping President Muhammadu Buhari’s name as the sole determinant of crucial activities in the party.
This approach, he said, is only unfair to the President.
Lukman said: “I find it necessary to send this letter to further appeal to you to review our approaches under the current National Working Committee (NWC) under your leadership.
“It is now two months since we came into office and you have so far raised a lot of expectations given that some of the problems, which undermined the support base of previous leadership, would appear to have been minimised.
“For instance, meetings of the NWC are now held almost every week. Members participate actively 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 conducts meetings of party organs as Chief Executive and to that extent, therefore, exercises prerogatives and overrules members.
“The big challenge is ensuring that decisions taken are faithfully implemented. The inability of previous leaderships under His Excellency Adams Oshiomhole and His Excellency Mai Mala Buni to implement decisions taken were partly responsible for the leadership crisis that confronted the party.
“Under your leadership, the current NWC is gradually snowballing into similar circumstances whereby decisions taken are allowed to lay bare and, in some instances, changed without necessarily taking needed steps to carry members along.
“No doubt, given all the challenges inherited and coming at a time when it’s extremely difficult to control events and almost everything would appear to have been set against the party and its leadership, we need to take every measure to avoid past pitfalls.”
Cautioning the National Chairman to avoid taking unilateral decisions, Lukman referred to the setting up of the transition committee to take stock of what the NWC inherited as a singular initiative.
His words: “Perhaps it is important to acknowledge that, as National Chairman, you have raised the expectations of many of us in the NWC, and by extension many party leaders.
“For instance, the whole idea of setting up a transition committee, which took stock of what we have inherited, was your singular initiative.
“The report of the committee was, to say the least, very shocking. Apart from the fact that there were more than 200 employees in the party’s National Secretariat, most of who (were) without valid letters of employment, there were no standardized conditions of service.
“Statutory requirements for taxations, pensions and insurance benefits as provided by relevant labour laws are not being respected. There were claims by legal firms about liability owed for legal cases handled without valid contracts.
“All these were partly responsible for why many of the party’s bank accounts were blocked by subsisting court judgments, most of which copies are not available at the National Secretariat, which with your guidance the Party’s Legal Department can resolve.
“Partly based on your recommendations and insistence to reform the Secretariat, the NWC decided to send all the Directors on leave pending the outcome of our investigation.
“It is clear to every discerning member of the NWC that many of the Directors, if not all, would have to go. It is also clear that apart from the Directors, many workers in the Secretariat should go.
“However, important and laudable as these decisions would appear to be, is inadequate if it is not matched with initiatives to standardise operational practices in the National Secretariat, especially in terms of ensuring that employment requirement conforms with extant labour laws.
“As the ruling party, this must be guaranteed.”
The National Vice-Chairman expressed disappointment that decision on the reform of the Secretariat has been suspended, saying: “As things are, we have suspended every initiative to reform the Secretariat, understandably so given all the challenges of meeting deadlines for electing party candidates for 2023 general elections.
“The danger is that what we inherited will soon become the accepted practice and new Directors and workers would be employed without any commitment to meeting provisions of the law concerning employment standards.”
He also frowned at the casual approach of the NWC in handling critical affairs of the party.
“The case of appointing Screening, Primary and Convention Committees is a good example,” he said.
“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 its 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.
“The Presidential aspirants are yet to be screened. The official explanation is that you are awaiting final consultation 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-centralised implementation of party decisions around the National Chairman.
“Increasingly, critical challenges of managing important tasks, such as organising the National Convention to produce the 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, after two months now in office, 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 some members of the NWC.
“Your Excellency, 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 prioritise developing good relationships with individual members of the NWC to accommodate our perspectives in handling the task of rebuilding our party, APC.
“I am confident that Your Excellency will be able to provide the needed leadership to rebuild our party, APC.”
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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