As Kyari emerges acting APC chair: Adamu’s tenure comes under EFCC probe, Faleke, Lalong tipped as replacement

 

Following the official confirmation of the resignation of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Iyiola Omisore as National Chairman and National Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively, the party’s Deputy National Chairman, North, Senator Abubakar Kyari, and the Deputy National Secretary, Festus Fuanter, have taken over in acting capacity.

The news of Adamu and Omisore’s resignation broke Sunday night but was not confirmed until Monday after the NWC meeting.

Speaking after a closed-door meeting of the NWC members, the acting national chairman, Senator Kyari also announced that the scheduled National Caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings for Tuesday and Wednesday respectively have been postponed.

Kyari said: “The NWC wishes to inform you about the resignation of the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and that of the National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

“And with this development and according to the constitution of the All Progressive Congress, (APC), it is now incumbent on my humble self Senator Abubakar Kyari as a Deputy National Chairman, North to assume the office of the acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“And subsequently also, the Deputy National Secretary, Festus, Fuanter will now assume the office of the acting National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“And with this recent developments in the change of leadership, I will like to inform everybody  that the proposed National Caucus meeting slated for Tuesday, the 18th of July 2023 and the National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) slated for Wednesday night is July 2023 are hereby been postponed.

“And this postponement will not be indefinite but a new date will be communicated in the near future.”

The drama

A brief drama, however, took place during Monday’s meeting of the NWC when Senator Omisore stormed the APC national secretariat around 11: 20am to participate in the closed-door meeting but was denied entry into the meeting.

A source closed to the venue of the meeting, said the former party scribe attempted to be part of the meeting but was asked to leave.

The source said: “Omisore came into the party secretariat around 11:20am and tried to join the NWC meeting but was denied entry. He, however, left the secretariat immediately and was telling people that he was going see the former national chairman.”

Reasons for their sack

Although, the party promised to make public reasons for Adamu and Omisore’s resignation later in the future but checks by our correspondent revealed that some party chieftains, including a member of the NWC, Salihu Lukman, had listed Adamu’s offence to include lack of transparency, lack of respect for party’s constitution, lack of accountability, and the Tinubu/Yerima Muslim-Muslim ticket among others, as reasons Adamu must go.

In one of the letters written to President Tinubu and made available to newsmen, Lukman had complained about the health of APC under Adamu’s leadership. 

He cited Adamu’s refusal to convene the NEC, Caucus meetings, give quarterly financial reports to NEC and inaugurate the Board of Trustees (BoT), christened National Advisory Council (NAC), as some of the alleged sins he committed within the last one year.

On the allegation of financial misappropriation, Lukman had said: “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 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.”

Last week, Lukman also revealed how Adamu denied President Bola Tinubu and other candidates of the party financial support during political campaign.

According to Lukman, APC raked in over N30 billion through the sale of nomination forms alone before the general elections, and about N5 billion was also donated to the party.

Lukman listed his demands to include: Presentation of the quarterly reports of its party activities to NEC, quarterly reports of the income and expenditure of the party, presentation of a proposed national budget to the NEC for approval by the provision of Article 13, 3A.14 of the APC constitution, resignation of the national chairman and secretary, among others.

He said: “Talking of national budget we are just coming out of elections whereby we are 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. 

“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 have 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.”

When asked whether the party supported Tinubu with fund, Lukman had said: “He (Tinubu) didn’t get a dime from the party. I am making this public. Let them challenge me and contradict me.”

Asked if he had idea of what was given to former President Muhammad Buhari in 2015 and 2019, the North-west national vice chairman of the party had declared: “Look in 2015, the party was truly a model party. President Buhari doesn’t have money. People were assigned responsibility to raise money. It’s just like Asiwaju and you say Asiwaju have 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 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 problem we are having.”

Igbokwe reacts

In his reaction to Adamu’s resignation, another chieftain of the party, Joe Igbokwe, said: “Abdullahi Adamu betrayed Asiwaju and APC before the party’s primaries when he connived with Senator Orji Uzo Kalu and others to campaign for Senator Lawan against the thinking of the leadership of APC Nigeria on zoning.

“Shortly after the Principal Officers of National Assembly were elected, Adamu, the traitor questioned the outcome of the Elections. Adamu may not have known the weight of his office as Chairman of APC Nigeria.

“No serious political party will stomach this colossal betrayal and abuse of office. Adamu has gone,” Igbokwe wrote on his official Facebook page.”

EFCC

Meanwhile, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have reportedly gone after Adamu over his inability to account for about N30 billion raised by the party from the sale of forms for the 2023 general election.

A source confirmed that some operatives of the anti-corruption agency were in Adamu’s residence Sunday night shortly after he tendered his resignation letter to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The operatives were said to have visited Adamu’s residence located on Ali Akilu Crescent, by Aso Rock Presidential Villa with a search warrant around 8pm.

It was also gathered that there was a ‘mild friction’ between the team of security agents at the chairman’s house and the operatives, as Adamu’s security personnel denied them access to the house despite brandishing to them a duly signed court warrant.

Efforts by one of our correspondents to reach the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as he neither picked up his calls nor responded to messages sent to him at the time of going to press.

Likely replacements

On the likely replacement of Adamu, Blueprint gathered last night that former governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, a federal lawmaker from Kogi state, Hon. James Faleke and a former governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Al-Makura, are among top names being considered as likely successor from the North-central.

It was gathered that some stakeholders of the party are rooting to Lalong or Faleke, who are both Christians, to balance the religious equation with the Tinubu/Shettima Muslim-Muslim ticket.

A source, however, said former governor Al-Makura cannot be ruled out of the equation.

The source said: “As a national party, the question of Muslim-Muslim issue has to be addressed. So, Adamu’s replacement has to be a Christian from the same political zone. That’s why the names of a former governor of Plateau state and Hon James Faleke are coming up. But the fact is one cannot rule out former governor Al-Makura because he actually campaigned for this position before Abdullahi Adamu was imposed on the party.”

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