A member of the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress Honourable Salifu Mohammed Lukman has taken the Chairman of the party , Abdullahi Adamu, to task over irregular recruitment of secretariat staff ,delay in implementation of the Committee’s decisions, among other issues.
His concerns were contained in a letter he sent to the Chairman of the party dated May 27, 2022 with the title: Rebuilding APC: Need for New Initiatives which he personally signed. The letter is copied to the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker,House of Representatives, e.t.c
In what may be seen as early sighs of a budding crisis within the recently elected leadership of the ruling party, Lukman, who is the National Vice – Chairman ( North- West,) and former Director- General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, accused the Chairman of making himself inaccessible and not carrying all members of the Committee along when decisions are changed
“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 now hold almost on weekly basis. Members participate actively and where necessary engage and contest issues. It is to your credit that you accept positions of members even when you disagree. This is a remarkable departure from what obtained in the past where National Chairman conduct meetings of party organs as Chief Executive and to that extent therefore exercise prerogatives and overrule members.
He cautioned that necessary steps need to be taken to avoid repeating the mistakes of the previous leadership of the party.
“The big challenge is ensuring that decisions taken are faithfully implemented. Inability of previous leadership under His Excellency. Adams Oshiomhole and His Excellency. Mai Mala Buni to implement decisions taken was 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.
“We need to take every measure to avoid past pitfalls”, he added.
On the issue of shoddy management of the secretariat, he cited improper recruitment, bloated workforce, lack of standardised conditions of service, non compliance with labour laws as issues of concern.
“Apart from the fact that there were more than 200 employees in the party’s National Secretariat, most of whom without valid letter of employment, there was no standadised conditions of service. Statutory requirement for taxations, pensions and insurance benefits as provided by relevant labour laws are not being respected. There were claims by legal firms about liabilities 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 is able to resolve.
He threw his weight behind a reduction of the workforce “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, there are many workers in the Secretariat that should go”, he said.
Stressing the need for instituting standard operating procedures, he stated ” The danger is that what we inherited will soon become the acceptable practice and new Directors and workers would be employed without any commitment to meeting provisions of the law with respect to employment standards.
Another challenge he said, “is how as NWC we seem to be handling very critical responsibilities of managing affairs of the party very casually. The case of appointing Screening. Primary and Convention Committees is a good example.
“Less than 48 hours, we are yet to have a Convention Committee in place. In fact, the Presidential aspirants are yet to be screened.
“At the rate we are going, we are walking back to the old spot of over centralised implementation of party decisions around the National Chairman. Increasingly.
“Criitical challenges of managing important tasks such as organising National Convention to produce Presidential Candidate of the party is being handled informally”, he alleged adding . “This should not be so, and everything must be done to correct that.”
“Finally, the issue of conditions of (service of) party leaders, including the NWC members is completely left unattended. The official excuse is that you requested for a budget. Consequently, two months now in office no decision has been taken to pay members of the NWC. The specific details of of NWC members are being reduced to speculations. This is very unhealthy and which would appear to be influencing the conducts of some members of the NWC.Partly, this is giving legitimacy for many unethical practices and appears to be influencing the conducts of some members of the NWC.
“Your Excellency, I wanted to meet you to discuss these matters. Unfortunately, it has proved difficult, and I feel very strongly about these matters. It is my hope that you will be able to prioritise developing good relationship with individual members of the NWC to accommodate our individua perspectives in handling the task of rebuilding our party, APC.