AXE DANGLES ON ABDULLAHI ADAMU
…APC national chairman now a distraction, Tinubu must get rid of him, says party's ex-acting chairman, Hillard Eta
Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC came out of his meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to tell journalists that the controversies he stirred when he rejected principal officers of the party announced at the National Assembly a day before was over.
According to him, the misunderstanding over the National Assembly positions was a ‘family affair’ which has been resolved during the meeting with the President. He also urged those who want the conflict to continue to 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,” Adamu who was accompanied to the meeting by Iyiola Omisore, the national secretary of the APC said.
However, the assertions by Adamu were a confirmation that he indeed ruffled not a few feathers at the highest echelon of the party when he attempted to pour cold water on the excitement that trailed the announcement of the new principal officers of the party in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Opposing Tinubu, APC Disciples
Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced Senator Opeyemi Bamidele as the Majority Leader; Senator Dave Umahi (Ebonyi South) as Deputy Majority Leader; Ali Ndume (Borno South) as Chief Whip, and Lola Ashiru (Kwara South) as the Deputy Whip.
In the same vein, Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives had announced Julius Ihonvbere, the lawmaker representing Owan East/Owan West of Edo as the Majority Leader and Abdullahi Halims representing Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro of Kogi as the Deputy Majority Leader.
He also announced Bello Kumo representing the Akko federal constituency of Gombe as the Chief Whip and Adewunmi Onanuga representing the Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North federal constituency in Ogun, as the Deputy Chief Whip.
Some analysts had noted that generally, the principal officers were either direct associates or loyalists of Tinubu or disciples of people loyal to the president.
In the same vein, most of the principal officers were also prominent foot soldiers of the APC in the battle to ensure to install the party’s choice as the presiding officers of the National Assembly. Thus, their emergence was also seen as a reward for their commitment and loyalty to the ruling party and the president. APC sources also said Akpabio and Abbas consulted Tinubu on those to be selected as principal officers and the president endorsed those announced. According to them, it was inconceivable that Akpabio and Abba who had repeatedly reiterated their commitment to Tinubu would have endorsed the principal officers without the president’s input.
However, a few hours after the emergence of the National Assembly principal officers, Adamu told journalists that the leadership of the APC was not aware they had been announced.
“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 said before the meeting of the executives of the party with Governor Hope Uzodimma-led Progressives Governors’ Forum, PGF.
Sources told The Nigerian Xpress that Adamu, who had always reiterated his opposition to the zoning of political positions, is still seeing himself as the defender of the North, just like he tried to work against a power shift to the South during the jostling for the APC presidential ticket.
“He may have been jolted by the fact that the majority leaders in both the House and Senate are from the Southern part of the country and are also Christians. Even, the minority leader of the Senate is a Christian, though from North Central,” said the source.
‘You’re On Your Own’
He, was, however, countered by the Imo governor who was emphatic that he and his colleagues had no problem with the action of the presiding officers of the National Assembly after they met with members of the APC NWC.
“The National Assembly leadership enjoys the support of Progressives governors and that of our party. We don’t have any problem at all,” said Uzodimma who was flanked by other governors of the party.
Indeed, the Governor of Kogi State, Yayaha Bello had in a statement he released later on Tuesday said the emergence of the principal officers was due to “clear results of experience” seen from them by their fellow lawmakers.
Thus, some members of the APC NWC distanced themselves from the claim by Adamu on Wednesday.
According to them, the former Nasarawa State governor did not inform or seek the opinions of other members of the APC NWC before he went public with the statement disowning the principal officers. They also revealed that the APC governors had during the meeting cautioned him against opposing the party without consultations with the necessary stakeholders.
The members of the NWC accused the party of undermining the president, noting that he also refused to fully give his support to Akpabio during the battle for the Senate presidency.
Rather, they said the former governor kept talking about having ‘further and better consultations’ at every point, a stance which encouraged Abdulaziz Yari to contest for the Senate presidency in defiance of Tinubu’s and the party’s position.
Indeed, Salihu Lukman, APC vice-chairman North-West had in a statement issued on 31 May stated that “Instead of working for the success of the decision of the NWC through activating meetings of higher organs of the party to confer more legitimacy to the decision of the NWC, he seems to be more interested in ensuring that the 2015 model of rebellious leadership emerges in the 10th National Assembly.”
Lukman had also waged a one-man war against Adamu, accusing him of mismanaging the party and its finances while urging the president to find a way to boot him out of office.
With his latest gaffe on the presiding officers, many members of the party, especially loyalists of the president are also toeing the same line ahead of the July 10 and 11 meetings of the APC National Caucus and National Executive Council, NEC meeting to be attended by Tinubu, his deputy, Kashim Shettima and the governors.
This is with the belief that the former Nasarawa governor seemed not to have got over his opposition to the candidacy of Tinubu before the presidential primary of APC when he tried unsuccessfully to ram Ahmed Lawan down the throat of members as the endorsed candidate of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
It’s Time For Adamu To Go
Hilliard Eta, a former acting national chairman of the APC accused Adamu of embarking on a journey of mischief for disowning the principal officers in an interview on national television on Thursday.
He noted that contrary to his claim, the leadership of the National Assembly had consulted Adamu for his input into the election of the principal officers.
Eta said the fact that Adamu was always disowned by his immediate constituency, the APC NWC, anytime he comes out to say something should be a source of concern to the leadership of the party.
“As you are aware, the governors of the party are not happy with his utterances. The other members of the NWC are not happy, and the generality of members of the party are not happy. You cannot be a distraction to this government.
“If the chairman of the party has constituted himself into distraction, and deceit, it is now time for the president to take a look into the party and being a leading progressive leader, he should see that our party is being led by progressives who would help him bring the renewed hope agenda to the people of Nigeria.
His (Adamu) immediate constituency as the chairman of the party is the NWC and the other members of the NWC have come out to disown him. This was exactly what happened when he came out the other time to say Senator Lawan is the consensus of the party. When you are the chairman of the party, your immediate constituency is the NWC because that is where you operate daily and if the other members are not comfortable with his outbursts and utterances, I think the best thing for Adamu to do at this time is to honourably step aside,” Eta said.
The question is will Adamu survive the APC National Caucus meeting scheduled for next week?