…Party yet to refund aspirants’ nomination fees
…We regret the delay in payment— Lukman, APC vice-chair
By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA
The leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, may have assumed another twist following fresh plots by some stakeholders to unseat the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Adamu was on March 26 affirmed as national chairman of the party at a convention to elect members of the APC National Working Committee NWC.
However, while there had been a build-up of complaints against Adamu, there were no attempts to oust him.
Indications emerged, the weekend, that some APC stakeholders were working to get the party chairman out of the way as part of trouble-shooting efforts to placate the Christian bloc in the party.
An APC leader, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, said the attempt was to balance power within the APC.
The party leader said: “Yes, there are those who feel that the controversy generated by our Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket can be lessened by having a Christian chairman and also proposing a Christian Chief of Staff to the President. Some have proposed a federal lawmaker, James Faleke, for that position, that is, Chief of Staff.
“There are issues regarding the continued stay of Adamu as party chair. The first is that we need to placate the Christian community.
“Second, a lot of us expected from Adamu in an election season but he hasn’t done much. We need the bureaucracy of the party to be alive this period, but their salaries are not even forthcoming and you expect them to work efficiently? That is one thing that might count against the chairman.
“Also, he was Chairman of the APC National Reconciliation Committee before he became the national chairman of the party. We expected that by now, he would have been able to resolve the major differences but that has not happened.
“The leader of our party, President Muhammadu Buhari also urged us to refund the money paid by aspirants at the convention which produced Adamu as national chairman. Aspirants paid millions, yet we haven’t refunded them. These are some of the issues.”
Party yet to refund aspirants’ nomination fees
Another grouse against Adamu was that over four months after President Buhari directed the party to refund the nomination fees to all aspirants at the party’s March 26 National Convention who stepped down for the party’s consensus arrangement, the party is yet to comply with the presidential order.
The party was supposed to have refunded aspirants from the ward to the national level, who were made to step down for others, as a result of its consensus arrangement.
The party had also in the last two months failed to honour the payment of staff salary as scheduled.
Another source said: “The June salary was paid in the middle of July while the staff only received their July pay last Friday as against payment on the 25th of every month.
“It would be recalled that in a move to perfect a consensus arrangement ahead of the party’s March 27 National Convention, President Buhari, at a meeting on March 23 with eight national chairmanship aspirants at the Villa persuaded them to step down for a consensus candidate with a promise of a refund of their nomination fee.
We regret delay in payment — Lukman
When contacted, National Vice Chairman (North West) of the party, Salihu Lukman, regretted the delay in payment and said the matter was being looked into.
Lukman said: “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about for people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me.
I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that is going to happen.”