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APC yet to refund aspirants months after election

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…As National Secretariat staff members lament over delayed salary payment

…Adamu to downsize Secretariat’s workforce

Joel Oladele-Abuja and Uthman Salami

It’s been over 6 months since Senator Abdulahi Adamu emerged as the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yet, the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari that the expression of interest and nomination fees paid by other aspirants who stepped down for him(Adamu) should be refunded is yet to be obeyed.

A source close to the party who spoke on condition of anonymity said he’s not sure if the money has been refunded, however, added that the delay could be because most of the aspirants are not really mounting pressure on the party for a refund.

Many believe this cannot be far from the fact that most of them want to remain in the good books of the party.

“The last information I got about it a few weeks ago is that the money is yet to be refunded and I’m not sure many of the aspirants are even going out of their ways to demand it.

“Promises were actually made but as I’m speaking with you, nothing has been done about it. If there were agitations, perhaps they would have been paid. That’s my impression,” the source disclosed.

Meanwhile, some members of staff working at the Party’s Secretariat have begun to raise dust over the delayed payment of salary, which many have described as a worrying development and new to the party.

When asked for clarification over the payment of staff salary, the source said the delay in the payment of salary of the members of staff of APC National Secretariat is affecting all staff members, including the Chairman himself.

This condition is considered a strange novel as staff used to get paid 25th of every month under Governor Buni led caretaker committee, the source disclosed.

“I even heard Adamu has not been paying workers salaries regularly as it used to be, mostly, even the daily running cost of the party secretariat is not being released.

“I think that’s just his own style, he can’t claim there is no money on ground for a smooth running of the party as the party recently made billions of Naira  from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms from aspirants contesting various elective positions,” the source added.

One of the staff members (name withheld) also said “The last salary I received was that of July, we have not been paid for August, this is September 11, we don’t know what’s happening.”

It was also gathered that the APC National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Felix Morka was upset at a point about money spent on publicity as most of the adverts are yet to be paid for.

Another source from the party secretariat said Senator Adamu cannot be blamed for what is going on in the party as he’s doing that to correct many of the wrongs of the immediate past administration of the party.

According to him, there are many ghost workers who only receive salary but don’t report at the office. These, he said Adamu is trying to track and very soon, justice will be served.

“What’s really going on is that staff auditing is ongoing, he’s not doing it deliberately to make life difficult for the staff.

“There are some ghost workers whose appointment might be terminated after the exercise. Some of us are aware of this.

“When Buni was the caretaker Chairman, he over-staffed the place, ordinarily he had no right as a Caretaker Chairman to employ anyone.

“Under him, the workforce of about 90 plus people increased to close to 200 people.

“Adamu is disturbed about that as he has not been seeing them physically but they keep receiving alerts for salary.

“He was able to track them through the attendance list, those who have not been coming since April have been noted and might face retrenchment any moment from now.”

On the running cost, the source said, “Senator Adamu is the approving authority and he can do anything he considers right for the party.”

By the 26th of September, it will be the 6th month since Senator Adamu, the anointed candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari emerged on consensus as the party’s National Chairman at the March 26 national convention after other Chairmanship aspirants stepped down.

Another source who pleaded anonymity said he’s aware the party is working seriously on refunding chairmanship aspirants as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari but he was not sure how far they had gone with the process.

On welfare of the APC secretariat staff, the source added that it’s just an administrative delay that shouldn’t be an issue as the party was committed to discharging its obligations to the staff.

“That’s just a pure speculation, the party is discharging its obligation to the staff. In every institution, if there is a couple of days delay into the month, it shouldn’t be an issue.

“The only thing I will say is that the secretary staff are getting paid, sometimes, there might be administrative delay that holds back salaries.

“In this country where people are being owed months of salary, I think they should even be thankful for getting paid a few days into the month.”

On downsizing of the workforce, the source said it’s also speculative.

Politics

Ignore Ganduje’s purported suspension – Kano APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kano State chapter, has urged the public to ignore the purported suspension of the national chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.

The secretary of the party in the state, Alhaji Zakari Sarina, told the newsmen on Monday in Kano that the supposed suspension of Ganduje by any group of individuals was null and void.

He said the suspension, which was announced on Sunday by a faction of the party, came from non-members of the party.

“It is impracticable for non-members to slam a national officer with suspension without recourse to laid down procedures as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

“I must make it clear, that we are undeterred by the activities of these impostors because.

Their style lacks finesse and sophistication and has further exposed their political naivety where Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is an acclaimed master.

“From available records, those behind the latest oddity are political jobbers who have offered themselves for pecuniary benefits at behest of dignity“, Sarina alleged.

According to him, they don’t belong to progressive because a good thing party member will not work towards destroying a legitimate member who was governor for 8 years and rose to become a national chairman.

“It is because they are outsiders, they are simply not aware of the internal workings, or ground rules of the APC on disciplinary actions, hence they resort to poor strategy that cannot stand logic, and reasons.

“We from ward, local government level and state are solidly behind our leader who has contribute positively towards the political growth of our party’’, he told NAN.

Sarina alleged that leader of the group who announced the purported Ganduje’s suspension was a member of New Nigeria People’s Party who contested but lost the counselorship election in Ganduje ward.

He advised the media to be cautious of those who seek to use their platforms to promote falsehood.

“The media should, as a matter of fact, scrutinise issues that are of paramount to the growth of democracy by being the driver of democracy’’, he said.

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Thugs attack Edo APC meeting, former lawmaker, woman leader, husband injured

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By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

A meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday ended in violence as thugs allegedly loyal to one of the leaders attacked a former federal lawmaker, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, woman leader, husband and injured many others.

The attack was said to have been carried out by the thugs at the installation ceremony of a former federal lawmaker as the ‘Apex Leader’ of the APC in the Local Government.

Hardly had the meeting started when the suspected hoodlums and political thugs struck, inflicting injuries on those present, with the woman leader of the local government and her husband currently hospitalised.

They also damaged vehicles and chairs and carted drinks and other items away from the venue of the meeting, which took place on Dumez Road in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the attack, Agbonayinma said, “The APC local government chairman, Sunny Ogbewe, called me that the leaders of Ikpoba-Okha were coming to meet with me to rub minds with me on the way forward for the party in the local government area.

“However, it was a sad story. People who are close to me led many others to the venue, destroyed, and beat up the woman leader and her husband. Both of them are in the hospital as I speak.

“They also vandalised vehicles, broke chairs and tables and carted away drinks. This is not how politics should be played. Going violent and beating up elderly persons?

“For some time, the people of the local government have been appealing to me to come and take a leadership position. But I have not shown interest because of what I have gone through. I lost my son and I am still going through trauma.

“They came here to appeal to me to be the apex leader of Ikpoba-Okha.”

Agbonayima, while addressing the meeting after security was beefed up at the venue, vowed that those who carried out the attack “will pay dearly for all they have destroyed,” even as he disclosed that the attackers also left with a generating set brought to power equipment for the meeting.

He said it was tough for him to accept the honour the APC members of the local government bestowed on him to be their “Apex Leader.”

“This opportunity is given to me, I will not take it for granted. I will not disappoint you,” he said, adding that he would consult before making decisions, urging party members to respect their leaders at all levels.

Participants at the meeting condemned the attackers and called for severe sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to take such action in the future.

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Politics

APC declares Ondo primary inconclusive

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The All Progressives Congress 2024 Governorship Primary Committee in Ondo State has declared the Saturday primary inconclusive.

This is contained in a statement by the Chairman of the Committee, Gov. Usman Ododo on Sunday morning.

The statement said that rerun election would take place in all the 13 wards of Okitipupa Local Government with total validated registered party members of 9,515.

“Having received reports of the primary election from the 203 Wards in the 18 Local Governments of Ondo State, the Primary Election Committee has decided that election will be conducted in all the 13 Wards of Okitipupa Local Government with total validated registered members of 9,515.

“ We have validated reports that the exercise did not hold in the local government due to late arrival of electoral materials and personnel as a result of logistics challenges.

“Election in Okitipupa Local Government shall be conducted 12 noon on Sunday 21st April 2024.

“The final collation of the results will be done thereafter”, the statement said.

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