By Lanre Oloyede
All is not well within the rank and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as the National Working Committee NWC led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu has accused the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of breeching agreements.
Recall that the release of a 422-member All Presidential Campaign Council last Saturday had generated serious controversy which resulted in the party suspending the kickoff of its 2023 campaigns earlier scheduled for Wednesday.
But a letter written by the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee NWC to Tinubu on Wednesday had further exposed the cracks within the party.
According to the letter released in the early hours of Thursday, Adamu accused Tinubu of breaching the agreement he had with the NWC with regard to the composition of the campaign council.
Adamu noted that Tinubu had singlehandedly tampered with the composition of the council members as earlier agreed upon by the NWC and with the approval of the presidency.
As a result, the composition of the council had been serially delayed as the NWC was said to have set up a three-member committee to interface with Tinubu’s team.
The NWC members were the National Organising Secretary, the National Legal Adviser and Deputy Women Leader which was set up to harmonize the council membership list with Tinubu’s team.
The recommendations of the NWC team are to have Senator Adamu as Deputy Chairman of the Council; the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari as Deputy Regional Coordinating Chairman (North) and his counterpart in the South, Hon. Emma Eneukwu as Deputy Regional Coordinating Chairman (South).
The demand also includes having APC National Secretary, Sen. Iyiola Omisore as Vice Chairman (Party Affairs); the National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu as Deputy Director-General (Organizing); the APC National Vice Chairman (South South), Hon. Victor Giadom as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator, South-South and the APC National Vice Chairman (South West) as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator of the zone.
Others are APC National Vice Chairman (South East) as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator; APC National Vice Chairman (North Central) as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator; APC National Vice Chairman (North East) as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator and APC National Vice Chairman (North West) as Deputy Zonal Campaign Coordinator of the zone.
The NWC team was said to have also recommended the creation of more directorates like the Directorate of Media Relations to be headed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary; Directorate of Compliance to be headed by the National Legal Adviser; Directorate of Organizing, Contact and Mobilization to be headed by the National Organizing Secretary.
“The NWC also wants the National Women Leader to coordinate the Women Wing; the National Youth Leader to be in charge of Youth Wing and the National Leader, People With Disabilities (PWD) to coordinate people with disabilities in the Presidential Campaign Council PCC”, said a top-ranking party official who pleaded anonymity.
However, in the letter Adamu wrote to Tinubu in London, the party said the presidential candidate is operating solo whereas winning elections is supposed to be a collaborative effort.
“On behalf of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I present my compliments to Your Excellency, and have the honour to convey to you, in truth and respect, the Committee’s opinion and position, regarding the above-mentioned subject matter, with a view to having a clear understanding about the respective roles and responsibilities of the principal organs of the Party charged with the duties of conducting the campaigns in the forth-coming general elections.
“This correspondence has become necessary in view of developments that took place over the last few days around the purported appointments into the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) that was announced precipitately by officials of the Council, without making recourse to the NWC for approval. All along, the NWC had been disposed towards the campaign in a cooperative spirit that is driven by the overall interest of the Party and the singular desire of victory for our candidates, in the persons of your esteemed self and your running mate.
“It is against this background that the NWC received with astonishment and regret, the press release by the PCC on 23rd September 2022, in which a purported list of appointees was announced, which effectively served as the approved roster of participants in the Party’s Presidential Campaign Council.
“The purported list not only came as a complete surprise to the NWC and the Party’s leadership, but also contravened the principles and purposes of the arrangements that you and I had led towards the adoption of the Organogram of the PCC, and its principal officials.
“Perhaps it has become necessary owing to the passage of time, that I should draw Your Excellency’s attention to the agreements that we reached in principle around the final adoption of the PCC list, based on the understanding that it was a work in progress, until such a time that the Joint NWC/PCC Committee that was established to formalise the structure and populate the list, submits its report.
“Your Excellency will no doubt recall our meetings in my office and also at the NWC Conference Room at the Party’s National Secretariat, on Wednesday, 7th September 2022, during which we discussed the details of the Organogram of the PCC and its composition, as a collaborative project between the two entities. Our recollection of those meetings clearly leaves us in no doubt that a breach of agreement has occurred, and that a return to the principles of cooperation and respect for each other is required.
“In Your Excellency’s own words, which I take the liberty to quote here, which I also hold dearly, you stated that “there is a burden on everyone’s shoulders towards delivering the elections to the Party and the candidate”. This has been the view of the NWC and myself all along since Your Excellency’s emergence as our Great Party’s Flagbearer.
“The NWC is striving under trying circumstances to keep faith with this vision, and to take our Party and candidates to victory, not only in the Presidential elections but in all others across the elective strata of offices.
May I, therefore, point out to Your Excellency, that winning election is a cooperative as well as a collaborative effort, that is done in a transparent and disinterested manner by all parties concerned, by respecting established boundaries and acknowledging the contributions of everyone. The NWC believes that any sign of disarray in the Party’s ranks will undermine the spirit and ethos of the campaign and give the undue alarm to faithful members and followers of the Party across the country.
“At the same, such a development would undoubtedly come as “Manna from Heaven” for the opposition parties, whose only desire when all else fails, is to see the introduction of rancour, division and disinclination in the leadership of our Great Party.
“I am sure Your Excellency will agree with me that this is an eventuality that we must do all in our power to prevent from happening. You will also agree that we owe it a duty as leaders to provide guidance by example to the rest of the Party including the PCC, to abide by agreements and adhere strictly to the work ethos that has been adopted by all of us. It is only by doing so that we will establish the premise for victory and gain the trust and confidence of our dear countrymen and women.
“Without further admonishment or complaints, I wish hereby to call upon Your Excellency to restrain the PCC from undertaking solo projects of this nature and agree to work with all stakeholders towards taking our Party to victory. I shall not find it necessary to reiterate the importance of the Party in the overall scheme of things in these campaigns, and the singular position of the NWC in driving the process towards our securing of victory in the polls.
“It suffices for me to convey the general and overwhelming sentiment of the NWC with regards to the ill-timed and unfortunate release of the PCC list, which confounded rather than pleased the members and whose withdrawal will assure the NWC of Your Excellency’s respect and disposition towards the Party, as well as the magnanimous spirit of cooperation towards achieving victory together with the NWC,” part of the letter reads.