National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu has spoken on the silence of some presidential aspirants who lost out in the June 8 Special Presidential Convention of the party, saying while they remain members of the party, he could not assess the level of their commitment to the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidential project.
Although Tinubu had won the ticket of the party during the convention, however, some of his rivals like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi have not shown public commitment to the party’s bid to retain power at the centre.
While Osinbajo was excluded from the APC Presidential Campaign Council PCC, both Lawan and Amaechi were named as advisers.
The development came as Adamu recalled with displeasure, the state of affairs of the party when he assumed the reins in March this year.
At a media parley Thursday in Abuja, Adamu defended his decision to reorganize the party bureaucracy, saying he inherited a very disorganized workforce and a secretariat “where anything goes and everyone was just doing his own thing”.
Party insiders said his comments could be seen as a subtle dig at the defunct Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC which steered the affairs of the party for almost two years before being forced out during a special elective national convention in March.
Adamu said he inherited billions of Naira in debts from his predecessor.
Asked about Osinbajo, Lawan and Amaechi, the APC national chairman said; “To the best of our knowledge, they are keying into this project. However, each of the aspirants at the convention is still alive and as journalists, you owe it a duty -having observed or having the state of mind that requires knowing where they stand today. It will be a bit absurd for me to start talking to them about things I feel you have not seen or heard from them. As for reconciliation, it is still a work in progress and we have been doing it. We have been talking to them and these guys are still very much around the political space. You can ask them whatever your observations are”.
On the reorganization of the party’s workforce, Adamu said; “The fact of the matter is, go round the secretariat, there is no one person who has come here who is a member of my family – primary or secondary.
“When we came here, we came to reorganize and reposition the party. You don’t see the party in a state of mess and just because you want to be decent because you don’t want to offend anybody, you allow the rot that you inherited to go on.
“We came and met the party where people were fixing all manner of things, the legal bill alone was over N7.5 billion. We came to find that here, everybody was like on his own. Everyone was just doing what they wanted to do, with no control, no system, no due process and just because you don’t want to be accused of anything, you just allow that kind of thing to go on. I am not that brand. My DNA has terrible allergies for that and I am sure most, if not all of my members in the NWC share in this.
“So, we found the necessity to reorganize the whole place and only God knows the extent of appreciation of the public that we got. Of course, every situation of change has its victims and ours will not be an exception we didn’t do anything with any bias or prejudice. The main thing is the interest of the party, to reposition it in an election year. We will be abused, we will be falsely accused. Of course, we are humans, I am not saying we couldn’t have made one or two mistakes but the fact of the matter is that there is nothing we have done deliberately just to promote our own feathers.
“Recently, we tried to introduce table payment. We know we don’t have 200 people working here but if you go to the payroll, you have over 200 people. Who are they? How did they come on our payroll? What are they doing for us? What is the nature of their jobs? Where are their letters of appointment? What qualifications do they have? You don’t because you want to avoid negative press and then not do this. We did everything in good faith and I don’t have any qualms about it”, he added.
Adamu had on April 22 ordered all departmental directors at the ‘Buhari House’ national secretariat of the party to proceed on indefinite suspension.
On assumption of office on April 1, Adamu had immediately hinted of the possibility of reorganizing the national secretariat while he also embarked on remodelling the party secretariat, relocating his office from the third to the ground floor.
Although he promised to do a staff audit, the report of the exercise which showed an over-bloated workforce has not been implemented despite the committee concluding its assignment several weeks ago.
The former Nasarawa governor had consequently set up a transition committee headed by a former Governor of Jigawa State, Ali Saad Birnin Kudu to study the handing over notes of the defunct Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC and other sundry matters affecting the National Secretariat of the party.
It was based on the committee’s recommendations that Adamu decided to suspend the directors and head, of legal services.
In July, the five national departmental directors and the Head, of Legal Services had written the National Executive Committee NEC for reinstatement or a formal disengagement.
They also wrote another letter to the Adamu-led National Working Committee NWC and copied the Chairman of, Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, seeking clarification on their employment statuses.
The letters were signed by Elder Anietie Offong (Welfare); Bartholomew I. Ugwoke (Research); Abubakar Suleiman (Finance); Dr Suleiman Abubakar (Administration); Salisu Na’inna Dambatta (Publicity); and, Dare Oketade, Head, Legal.
Vanguard however gathered that the affected directors have now been paid off in controversial circumstances.