Principal officers: Tinubu brokers amity between NASS leadership, APC national chair
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has resolved the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the principal officers of the ruling party at the National Assembly, Daily Trust reliably gathered last night.
A fresh crisis erupted in the ruling party on Tuesday when the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, rejected the principal officers of the party announced by both the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.
Akpabio and Abbas had announced the principal officers of the APC, including the majority leaders, chief whips and their deputies during the plenary.
But shortly after the announcement, Adamu was quoted as saying the list did not emanate from the party although the governors of the party under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) endorsed the new officers.
The national chairman, who spoke during a meeting with the PGF led by Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State on Tuesday, said he was not aware of the development.
“I am just hearing it as a rumour from the online media that there have been some announcements in the Senate and House of Representatives.”
“The national headquarters of the party, the NWC has not given any such information or communicated about the choice of offices,” Adamu stated on Tuesday.
His statement created tension in the ruling party. Yesterday, President Tinubu summoned Adamu and the party secretary, Dr Iyiola Omisore, to the State House, Abuja, where the issue was discussed.
At the end of the meeting, there was no official statement from the presidency on the matter. A source said the president was embarrassed by the development.
Another source told this paper that at the meeting, the president endorsed the actions of the Senate President and the Speaker on the principal officers.
When contacted, however, the national chairman told one of our correspondents that the matter had been resolved.
“We have met the president and the issues have been resolved. It’s a family affair and there were some misunderstandings. We have been able to resolve our differences.
“Those who are eager to see the continuation of the conflict, they should please sheathe their swords. We have a complete understanding now.
“ The president is the leader of our great party; we met him and we are very satisfied with the discussion we had with him on the subject matter. As far as we are concerned, the issues have been laid to rest,” he said.
Tinubu’s men unhappy with Adamu
Meanwhile, chieftains of the APP loyal to Tinubu are unhappy with Adamu, and they are rooting for his ouster, Daily Trust can report.
Several sources close to Tinubu in Lagos, his home base, said it is high time the national chairman was eased out because he could no longer be trusted.
Some of the Tinubu loyalists said it was wrong for the party’s chairman to have publicly dismissed the list of officers which the president, who is the leader of the party, must have endorsed.
Many loyalists of the president said the posture of the national chairman had shown that “he cannot be trusted.”
A prominent chieftain of the party who spoke with our correspondent yesterday accused Adamu of nursing grudges against Tinubu after winning the election.
“Don’t forget the national chairman never supported Asiwaju (the president) during the primary. He supported Senator Ahmed Lawan, the former Senate President. So I think he cannot be trusted to lead the party now that Asiwaju has been sworn in,” the source said.
A chieftain of APC in Lagos, Mr Joe Igbokwe, who spoke with our correspondent in Lagos, reiterated that Adamu’s time is up as the party’s chairman.
He said, “He was supposed to have been removed that time when he supported Ahmed Lawan but APC managed the matter. We can’t trust him.”
Igbokwe, a former spokesman of APC in Lagos, said even if the chairman was not satisfied with the list of principal officers released yesterday, he should not have made it public.
“In all honesty, we can’t trust him again. He was managed for us to come out of the election. Now is the time to ease him out but I know Asiwaju knows what to do,” he said.
A former chairman of the party in Lagos, Chief Henry Ajomale, said there is a limit to the party’s interference in the affairs of the National Assembly.
According to him, the interference of the party should have stopped at the level of nominating the presiding officers for the two chambers of the National Assembly.
He said, “I believe that the party’s main duty is to nominate the presiding officers like the Senate President, Deputy and the Deputy Speaker. I think the others are supposed to be internal so that within themselves they can choose those who are going to occupy the principal officers’ positions because they know themselves more than the party.
“I believe they should be given an opportunity, since they know one another, to pick these themselves.”
But the Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) in Lagos, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, called for calm, saying the party remains one.
He said the national chairman, like other members of the party, has the right to express his opinion which he has exercised.
Olusi said, “Any member of the party, including the national chairman, is at liberty to express his dissatisfaction in respect of any action or purported action taken by the party.
“Our party is a well-organized party and if there are issues to be resolved, we shall be resolving them amicably.”
Olusi stated that the president, as the leader of the party, is capable of resolving any dispute within the party.
“The president is blessed with the ability to run organisations and we have many responsible leaders within the party. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to bother about,” he added.
Another chieftain of the party in one of the South-West states, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the national chairman should stop his opposition against the president.
“I am not happy with his comments. It is a well-established principle that the president is the leader of the party. Why should it be during Tinubu that we would have a national chairman who is not in good terms with the president? We need to act fast as a family,” he said.
It’s not about Adamu but North – Former gov, other
But sources close to Senator Adamu said the horse-trading in the party was not about the national chairman but the North.
One of them, a former governor, said, “Look, it is not about Abdullahi Adamu alone. It is about the survival of the North. Of course, power has shifted to the South but the North is a major stakeholder. It is with the support of the North that power shifted to the South, and therefore, when it comes to the allocation of positions, the North should have a say. It is about our people.
“People might not understand what is happening until much later. But as you can see, the president called the national chairman today (yesterday) and they spoke. They understood themselves and the problem is over unless something new comes up,” he said.
Another source said the misunderstanding at the party is a natural occurrence.
“Leaders must disagree to agree later. It is not good for the system that those that control power should always have their way.
“Powerful forces are supporting Adamu, we are with him. He is not alone. What we are doing is to strengthen the ruling party and by extension entrench good governance for the benefit of all,” the source said.