Barely one week after releasing his presidential campaign council list, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has come under heavy fire from the leadership and national working committee of the party.
In a strongly worded letter written and signed by the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to Tinubu who is still having a vacation in London, the party accused him of arrogantly ignoring their contribution to the composition of his Presidential Campaign Council.
Tinubu had on Friday unveiled a 422-man committee comprising political heavyweights and other notable members to pilot the various sub-committees of the campaign council.
The list of members released by Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council, James Faleke, in Abuja, followed a series of postponements and conjectures about those who would be saddled with the task of leading the ruling party’s bid to retain power at the federal level.
The campaign council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, has Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, as co-deputy chairmen.
Also on the PCC are APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors as well as serving and past public office holders.
Zonal and state coordinators, advisers, campaign patrons, directors, deputy directors and secretaries of directorates were also named.
The sub-committees include media and publicity; support group coordination; national youth mobilisation; parliamentarian; trade and economic; agriculturists/commodities; campaign planning; civil societies; Diaspora directorate; election planning and monitoring; finance; fund raising; and humanitarian/social.
Others are ICT/data management; intelligence and security; labour; logistics and support service; medicals; policy research and strategy; protocol and events, and others.
But a defiant Adamu wrote that the council membership list was not a true representation of the three-man committee set up to harmonize it.
The three-member committee comprised the national working committee comprising the National Organising Secretary, National Legal Adviser and Deputy Women Leader.
The letter reads, “On behalf of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, 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 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.”
Tribunal: INEC Presents Blurry Adeleke’s Testimonial, Oyetola Kicks
The Election Petition Tribunal hearing case emanating from the July 16 governorship election in Osun State was forced into adjournment on Thursday following presentation of blurry documents used by the Governor Ademola Adeleke for 2018 elections.
The eight-page documents presented by a Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Joan Arabs, included Certified True Copies of the testimonial obtained by Adeleke from Ede Muslim Grammar School, and West Africa Examination Council General Certificate of Education.
The panel had last week Friday ruled that INEC chairman should bring Adeleke’s filings for 2018 poll on its next sitting.
At the day’s proceedings, after checking the documents presented by INEC, counsel to the petitioners, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who appeared with Akin Olujinmi, SAN, told the panel that two out of the pages were not clear enough.
Fagbemi said section for scores obtained by the candidate on the GCE result was blank, adding that the address of the school that awarded the testimonial was not also clear enough.
But counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, said the copies were clear and readable, urging the plaintiffs to allow the documents to be admitted, since they had earlier claimed that they had CTC copies of the documents which could be presented.
He assured not to object to the documents if presented by the plantiffs.
Counsel to Adeleke and Peoples Democratic Party, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN and Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, respectively said the documents were clear enough, but admitted some sections were blurry.
They, however, said the documents were still rectifiable and urged the petitioners to call their next witness, while INEC should be made to present a clearer copies, if they have.
Ananaba later called for stand down of the matter to enable him obtain screenshots of the documents from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
After the panel had reconvened, Ananaba presented both colour and back and white copies made from the screenshots obtained from INEC head office, which he also admitted were not better than the copies earlier presented.
He sought adjournment to enable INEC brought before the panel, the file from which the copies earlier presented were made from.
Fagbemi, however, insisted that the order of the court was that clear documents should be presented, saying the respondents must comply with the directive.
Reading the ruling of the panel, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume, adjourned the matter till Saturday for the INEC to bring the original file containing the documents.
JUST IN: Labour Party Expels Peter Obi’s DG, Okupe, 10 Others
The Labour Party in Ogun State has expelled the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe.
Okupe was sacked alongside 10 others for alleged non-financial membership status, high-handedness and financial recklessness.
The Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Michael Ashade, announced the party’s decision in Abeokuta Thursday, saying the offences were a breach of the Labour Party’s constitution.
Ashade said Okupe has ceased to be a LP member for his “failure to meet the mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status.”
According to him, Okupe had failed to pay his membership dues since the last six months he joined the Party, saying he has therefore forfeited his membership of the Labour Party and he is no longer fit to act as the Director General of Obi’s campaign council.
He stated that the offenses of Okupe amd and the other 10 are against Article 9(3) sub(iii) and Article 9(3)xi of the LP constitution.
He accused Okupe of mismanaging the funds approved for the LP in Ogun to mobilize members for the rally held last week at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
While notifying the LP National Chairman, Barr Julius Abure of their decision, they called on Obi to immediately appoint another DG for the PCC from the North.
Okupe could not be reached for his reactions as calls to his mobile phone were unanswered.
He also did not respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of this report.
Okupe is from Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Court Strikes Out Fresh Suit Seeking To Sack Rivers APC Guber Candidate
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, stuck out a suit by a governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Benard Mikko, over the party’s primary elections in Rivers State.
The Governorship candidate of the APC, Tonye Cole, the Independent National Electoral Commission and another governorship aspirant of the APC Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree were also joined in the suit.
But the court ruled that the suit was lacking in merit.
Mikko had approached the court to direct INEC to disqualify Tonye Cole from next year’s Governorship election, claiming that the primary election held on 26th of May, 2022, that brought him in as the governorship candidate was marred with irregularities.
He also claimed that the candidate has a questionable character following his indictment in a white paper report by a commission of inquiry set up by the Rivers State government.
Presiding judge, Justice Ayua Phoebe in her judgment said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit because the plaintiff failed to exhaust all the internal mechanisms of the party before instituting the legal action, adding that the party is supreme.
The judge, while describing the suit as frivolous and abuse of court process, ruled that Mikko also failed to abide by his earlier oath of allegiance sworn to the APC never to institute any legal action against the party and that he will support whoever emerged from the primaries.
While the counsel to the APC, Chinda Chizim commended the judgement, that of the plaintiff, Eli Ojigba said he will consult his client for his next line of action.
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