Uncertainty yesterday pervaded the All Progressives Congress (APC) following reports of Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s resignation as national chairman of the governing party.
There are indications that Adamu announced his resignation after mounting pressure from party bigwigs that he should do so.
A source within the APC who spoke in confidence on the development last night told LEADERSHIP that the embattled national chairman may have preempted the outcome of the national caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings billed for tomorrow and Wednesday.
“I am not surprised if Adamu has resigned because that is the noble part he should take if he does not want to be disgraced out of office. His refusal to support Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker Abbas during the NASS leadership election sold him out as being anti-party.
“Don’t forget that he also threw his weight behind former Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, instead of President Tinubu during the party’s presidential primary last year. That he has been tolerated all this while shows how magnanimous Tinubu is as a leader,” the source who did not want his name in print told our correspondent.
But an online report had it last night that Adamu resigned purportedly on the orders of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
National secretary of the party, Iyiola Omisore, was also said to have tendered his resignation minutes after.
An online newspaper, Prime Business Africa, reported that it got affirmation from reliable sources within the party and the presidency that Adamu “resigned a few minutes ago on the orders of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
Another online newspaper, WesternPost, also reported that Senator Abdullahi Adamu has resigned as APC national chairman.
Although efforts to get key members of the party to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the chairman’s resignation did not turn out, LEADERSHIP gathered from sources that members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) met at an undisclosed location to discuss pressing issues bordering on the fate of the party ahead of tomorrow’s national caucus meeting and the NEC meeting billed for Wednesday.
Why the NWC members opted to meet secretly outside the party’s secretariat when a meeting of the party’s NWC is billed to hold today was still a puzzle at the time of filing this report.
The APC had scheduled the same NWC, caucus and NEC meetings for last week but had to move it to July 17, 18 and 19 following protest from some NWC members over a financial report of the party presented for deliberation by Adamu, which they insisted was not detailed.
Prime Business Africa reported that information it obtained last night indicated that the NWC and the president’s meetings were postponed, purportedly at the request of Senator Adamu.
“It was also gathered authoritatively that all members of the NWC ” are on the same page” regarding the compulsory resignation of the National Chairman and his Secretary, Omisore.
“The NWC members are also said to be miffed by the alleged lack of transparency in the party’s 2022 Account audit, which they said was “surreptitiously secured and submitted without any of the members sighting it,” the online paper reported.
Quoting a source which it said was privy to the details of the resignation, another online paper, WesternPost, reported yesterday that “Adamu was forced out over many issues which included his non-support for President Bola Tinubu.
“According to the source, for the past two weeks, elements within the party have been calling for his resignation threatening to remove him at the next National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting if he fails to resign,” the online platform noted.
The paper further reported that Adamu caved in after Imo State governor and chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Hope Uzodinma, “told him that if he didn’t resign, they will remove him at the next NEC meeting”.
LEADERSHIP recalls that since March this year, the national vice chairman (North-West)mof the party, Mallam Salihu Lukman, has been calling for the resignation of Adamu and the party’s national secretary to balance the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket and save the party in Osun State.
Lukman had also dragged Adamu and Omisore to court, praying the court to compel them to give account of how party funds were spent in the previous year.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja last week, the former director general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) said despite raking in over N30 billion from sale of forms, Adamu refused to give President Tinubu and other candidates financial support in the 2023 general election.
He said, “Talking of national budget, we are just coming out of elections whereby we were not able to sustain past precedence. What was the past precedence? Under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in 2019, every candidate of the party received something from the National Secretariat. In this last election, no candidate of the party received a dime from the party.
“Talking of finances, in our constitution the NEC is supposed to approve some form of sharing formula. I am aware that each state chapter has received about N20 million out of the N30 billion. Put together, that is about N700 million less than a billion which is less than 3 percent of the total income that has been earned.
“Yet we want to sweep this under the carpet. We are having states, zonal, local councils and ward levels who are left on their own. The whole question of funding of the party has not been addressed”.
Asked in specific terms whether Tinubu got anything from the party or not, he said, “He didn’t get a dime from the party. I am making this public. Let them challenge me and contradict me.”
Lukman also faulted the party’s decision to send its budget to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC for scrutiny, arguing that it is the party’s NEC that has the constitutional power to approve the budget.
He said, “We are expected to present a proposed national budget to the National Executive Committee NEC for approval by the provisions of Article 13(3A)(14) of the APC constitution. I felt embarrassed when I heard the National Secretary (Omisore) say the budget of the party has been sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
“INEC is not the approving authority of the budget of the APC. The approving authority is the NEC. Till today we don’t have a national budget. Yet we made over N30 billion from sales of forms.
“Till today as a member of the NWC and majority members of the NWC, maybe with the exception of the Financial Secretary, Treasurer and or the Auditor who may have inside knowledge of how much was expended on the renovation of the National Secretariat of the party, we have no knowledge of what is being expended”.
He recalled that former President Muhammadu Buhari got some level of support from the party when he was the party’s candidate in 2015 and 2019.
His words: “Look, in 2015, the party was truly a model party. President Buhari didn’t have money. People were assigned responsibilities to raise money. It is just like Asiwaju and you say Asiwaju has money. So there were people assigned with the responsibility of mobilizing money for the party. If anything was done in 2023 based on that, it would be the initiative of Asiwaju. I am not aware of it as a party.
“If you remember in between, we were busy causing distractions about what should be our roles in the Presidential Campaign Council. Unless if we are humble and honest to admit that these are things that ordinarily shouldn’t have happened and admit we need to correct them and reshape the relationship between us and the government that emerged, we would continue to have the problems we are having”.
Lukman further accused Adamu of disobeying the party’s decision on the choice of the leadership of the National Assembly by staying aloof from the position of the party.
According to him, instead of developing guidelines as directed by the provisions of Article 13 (4.6) of the constitution that would guide the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, the Adamu-led NWC approached it with a blank cheque.