A fresh crisis is rocking the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the leadership style of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
This is coming barely two months after the committee came into office.
The National Vice Chairman, North West, Salihu Lukman who wrote to the National Chairman about the crisis in the party’s NWC emphasised on the need to take every measure to avoid past pitfalls.
The letter by Lukman who is the former Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Bisi Akande, Bola Tinubu, Adams Oshiomole, Ogbonnaya Onu and all the NWC members.
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Lukman in the letter dated May 27, alleged that the new NWC under Adamu was gradually toeing the old path of the leadership style of Oshiomole and Mai Mala Buni where decisions taken were left unimplemented and members not carried along.
“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 wrote.
The APC’ National Vice Chairman decried the old approach of dropping President Muhammadu Buhari’s name as the sole determinant of crucial activities in the party.
He maintained that the approach was not only unfair to President Buhari but an attempt to use his name to give excuses for failure.
Citing the party’s inability to conduct screening for its presidential aspirants 48 hours before the May 29 special convention and presidential primary, he said he found it necessary to send the letter to further appeal for a review of the party’s approaches under the current NWC.
“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.
“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 was 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 and implemented. The inability of previous leadership 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.
“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 whom without valid letters of employment, there were no standardised 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 judgements, 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,” parts of the three-page letter read.
Lukman asked the National Chairman to avoid taking unilateral decisions for the party, referring to the setting up of the transition committee to take stock of what the NWC inherited as a singular initiative.