Sunday, 10th December 2023

APC crisis: Lukman drags Adamu to court over alleged breach of party constitution  

By Terhemba Daka and Adamu Abuh, Abuja
28 April 2023   |   4:15 am
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, deepened, as an embittered member of the ruling party’s National Working Committee (NWC), Dr. Salihu Lukman, dragged the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu...

Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman

• Buhari, APC governors meet at Aso Rock
• Tinubu parleys APC governors over NASS leadership tussle
• Buhari: Why opposition lost presidential poll

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, deepened, as an embittered member of the ruling party’s National Working Committee (NWC), Dr. Salihu Lukman, dragged the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to court over alleged breach of the party’s Constitution.

Salihu, in a suit filed at an Abuja High Court, informed top echelons of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, President-elect Bola Tinubu and the Governor Atiku Bagudu-led Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) that he was left with no option but to approach the court when it became obvious that Adamu was bent on perpetuating the alleged illegality upon the expiration of the seven days ultimatum, which expired on Wednesday.
Lukman, a vitriolic critic of Adamu’s style of leadership, justified the action, thus, in the letter addressed to President Buhari: “I have proceeded to institute a legal action, seeking to compel Adamu and lyiola Omisore, being respectively APC National Chairman and National Secretary to compel them to comply with the requirements of running the affairs of the party as enshrined in the provisions of the APC Constitution.
“As things are, I am painfully left with no option. It is quite disheartening that under the leadership of Adamu, we are failing to abide by the provisions of our party’s Constitution and the party is being managed based on discretionary decisions of Adamu and Omisore.
“Given the high confidence you had in Adamu, which made you to nominate him to emerge as the National Chairman of our party, the least one would expect is that he will conduct himself strictly based on requirements as provided in the APC Constitution.
“It is my strong view that APC is the most important political legacy you gave to Nigerians. It was your leadership, and partnership with Tinubu and other party leaders that produced the success story of the merger negotiations of 2012/2013 and the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“Having participated in the advocacy for the merger that produced the APC and being a founding member of the party privileged to be a member of the current NWC, I find it very compelling to take this legal action to enforce accountability within the party.
“It is my hope that this court action will be concluded before May 29, and a NEC meeting of the party will hold before the end of your tenure in office as President.”

IN a related development, APC governors yesterday, held a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where President Buhari said a combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made the opposition political parties to lost the February 25 presidential election.

The President said while the ruling APC was working hard to retain power in the recent elections, the combined opposition was a victim of overconfidence.

Speaking at his residence in the State House where he received the Progressive Governors Forum, Buhari said: “They were already telling their foreign backers that they would defeat the APC.

“Our party blended confidence with caution, we worked hard and won. Now, their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They are finding it hard to convince those who supported them from outside why they are unable to beat us.

“A combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made them lose, plain and clear. This has created more problems in their camp. Why did they fail to remove us?”

Speaking in response to an issue raised by Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, the leader of the forum, President Buhari said “an important reason I congratulate Asiwaju on winning is because the opposition got support and false hope from outside and went on to create the impression that they will win, that they will defeat us. How more wrong could anyone be?”

He charged the Progressive Governors to stick together and openly address issues among themselves. “Try and keep solving problems. Be courageous to discuss them openly between yourselves. This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria.”

He further urged them to “have a programme to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the Party nationwide.” President Buhari spoke at length about his retirement proposal, saying that he intended to be at home in Daura, Katsina State, for six months before moving eventually to Kaduna State.

He thanked Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna for the infrastructure he has provided that would make life for his retirement and that of the people of the state much better, adding that the governor of Kano State had equally done the same.

The Chairman, Atiku Bagudu said the visit was ostensibly to say “Happy Sallah” to the President and to thank him for the leadership he had given to the party and the nation.

This being their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the President on the party’s victory in the presidential polls. He said: “Congratulations, your party won the Presidency, a majority in the Senate and for being the leading party in the House of Representatives. These successes would not have happened without your support.

“History will remember you kindly. Around the world, the election is being celebrated because of the turbulence in the region and in the developing world, all courtesy of your leadership.

“We won by sheer hard work, the same thing you have always encouraged us to do.  We thank you immensely for everything,” he added. Earlier, the President-elect, Tinubu had met with the APC governors in a move aimed at settling the thorny issues revolving around zoning arrangement for the selection of principal officers of the 10th National Assembly.

Though details of what transpired at the parley also remained sketchy, it is believed that the fear of rebellion by aspirants jostling for the exalted seats of the Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker informed the urgent need by the President-elect to meet with the governors.
Tinubu urged the governors to work with the party leadership and lawmakers on the election of principal officers of the National Assembly. He said: “The challenge before us is working in unison with the party leadership and the National Assembly over the election of their principal officers. And I charge you to unite in spirit and faith and work in line with the party.”
He further told the governors and former governorship candidates of the party that “whether you return or not, this is our government. Once we know what we are doing and communicating as elected leaders and loyal party men, we will conquer the challenge. ”
Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, who is also the governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to Tinubu’s residence.
Among those in attendance were Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima and Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Hope Uzodinnma (Imo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Babajide Sanwo-olu (Lagos), Ben Ayade (CrossRivers), Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti).
There were also the deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe and APC governorship candidate in Kano State, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna. It was, yesterday, gathered that Tinubu has rejected a push by some forces in APC to micro-zone the Senate presidency to South-South geopolitical zone of the country. On the contrary, Tinubu insisted that the office must be openly zoned to the entire southern region with no particular preference to any zone.

The development, it was learnt formed the details of what transpired at the Wednesday meeting with the President-elect, the APC leadership and some National Assembly members.

It was learnt that Tinubu rejected proposals made by some members of the APC leadership and three Southwest senators for the Senate Presidency to be micro-zoned to the South-South.

A reliable source told who pleaded anonymity said the President-elect reasoned that since the members of the party supported the zoning of the presidency slot that produced him to South, it will not be logical for the same people to now adopt a micro-zoning system.

The source said that Tinubu insisted that zoning the senate presidency to the South will give all the qualified aspirants from Southeast and South-South opportunity go into a fair contest for senators to make their choice, the same way APC delegates made their choice of a presidential candidate out of the lot.

It was also learnt that Tinubu cautioned the leadership against throwing the party into a crisis, directing an amendment to the NWC’s recommendations.
Meanwhile, ahead of the May 29 handing-over, APC has appealed to Nigerians to support a peaceful transition of power from President Buhari to Tinubu. National Chairman of the party, Adamu, gave the charge yesterday when he received a pro-democracy group, The Natives, led by its Supreme Leader, Olalekan Smart Edwards, at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
The APC chairman also explained why Tinubu had to travel shortly after the general elections, saying the President-elect is in good health but needed to rest due to the rigours of the campaigns.