Disgruntled aspirants who attended the March 26 National Convention of the All Ruling Progressive Congress have pledged to sue the party for failing to refund payment for their expression of interest and nomination forms.
The development comes four months after they were asked to step down for the party’s current national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and other members of the national working committee.
Some concerned politicians who spoke in separate talks expressed concern that they had explored and exhausted all their options, with the only obstacle being the national president.
Depending on the category of expression of interest and nomination forms, the 126 aspirants who applied for various positions had to pay between 20 and 2.5 million naira.
By the end of the financial year, APC raised over N700 million with an additional N3 billion generated among stakeholders and party members ahead of the presidential primary.
There have also been complaints that despite the huge revenue generated by the party leadership between March and August, the ad hoc workers, staff and affected party members who were hired have also not received their social allowances. .
Midshipmen urged to stand down at National Convention
Concerned aspirants who stepped down for Adamu in the National President category included Senator Umar Al-Makura, Salihu Mustapha, Muhammed Sani Musa, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, Senator George Akume and Mohammed Etsu.
Those in the National Vice President (North) category who stood down for the consensus candidacy of Senator Abubakar Kyari were Yakubu Dogara, Faruq Aliyu, Sunny Sylvester Monidefe, Senator Ken Nnamani, Malam Isa Yuguda and Emmanuel Joseph.
For the post of national secretary, three candidates including the former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Oyedele Ifeoluwa and Professor Olaiya Olaitan were sacrificed for the candidacy of Senator Iyiola Omisore.
In the National Vice-Presidents (South-South) category, Yekini Nabena and Worgu Chambers were asked to stand down for Victor Giadom.
Apart from the aforementioned contenders, there are 113 other aggrieved politicians who have yet to be reimbursed.
One of the candidates involved, who spoke to our correspondent confidentially, promised to collect his nomination forms before Adamu was forced out of office.
Adamu “deliberately” delays reimbursement
He said: “We know how much was raised at the convention and even the APC presidential primary. So what’s the problem? We party members are also aware of the amount that was distributed for the Osun and Ekiti elections. I still don’t understand why Adamu is struggling to comply with the president’s directive.
“The only reason we have been slow to take this issue to court so far was to avoid putting our presidential candidate, Asiwaju, in a bad light. But as things stand, we have no choice but to head to court. Everyone knows that what happened at the congress where we had to resign cannot be called an election. Perhaps for this reason some of them in the North West Company, including Adamu, acted with impunity.
In one of the letters written to Adamu dated June 21 and joined by 107 signatories, the aggrieved aspirants also accused the party leadership of excluding them from active participation and postings in the party’s latest primaries for the election of various candidates.
The letter read in part: “Your Excellency, remember that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his speech at the convention, ordered that for those who agreed to step down, the party should refund the money they paid for the Purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms.
“For the record, it is unworthy to consider the reality of the enormous expenses we incurred in our campaigns, the amount of which far exceeded the cost of purchasing the forms.
“Our capable President, we want to assure you and the leadership of the APC that we will do our best to ensure that the party emerges victorious in the next general election in 2023.
“Without being discouraged, we would like to express that we have been excluded from the lists of the party primaries commissions which have just ended for the election of our various party candidates in the general elections.”
Speaking to The PUNCH, one of the concerned mid-north aspirants, Yusuf Elaigwe, however expressed his optimism when he told our reporter that he is sticking with Adamu on the matter.
“I can’t comment on that. But there is progress. I will have a meeting with the National President about this next week,” he said.
Another aspirant, Sunny Sylvester Monidefe, who quit for Kyari confirmed to have written to Adamu.
Monidefe, however, expressed frustration that the president has yet to release details of how they hope to repay them.
According to him, it was difficult to have meetings with many of the candidates concerned as the majority do not reside in Abuja and only come when they have official duties to perform.
In a separate telephone conversation, former communications minister Adebayo Shittu told our correspondent that the APC national president had reassured them that they would be fully reimbursed.
Shittu said that although they are angry, there are no plans to take action against the party leadership as alleged.
“I don’t think that’s true. Nobody will. I have also spoken personally with the national chairman of the party and he reassured me that discussions are underway to pay us. We still hope this will be resolved,” he said.
The case is getting attention – spokesperson
Responding to the developments in a telephone interview, APC National Publicity Secretary Felix Morka said the matter was “getting attention and will be resolved soon”.
“I’m sure the party will solve it. The APC has just come out of the primaries. They take care of it. »
In a related development, APC (Northwest) National Vice President Salihu Lukman expressed regret over the delay, which he said was being reviewed.
Lukman made the clarification in Abuja on Sunday.
He said: “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For example, in my case, about four people quit for me and they talked to me. I got the party’s attention and I think it’s now clear that the party needs to resolve it as soon as possible. I can assure you it will happen,” Lukman said.