A member of the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Salihu Lukman, has raised the alarm over what he described as a lack of financial discipline in the party, saying for over a year, the party has operated without a budget.
Lukman, the National Vice Chairman, North-west of the APC, said no threat of expulsion or suspension could stop him from holding accountable the national chairman Abdullahi Adamu and national secretary, Iyiola Omisore.
This was contained in an open letter he wrote to the duo on Friday, June 2, 2023, titled, ‘Contestation and Disagreements are Defining Attributes of a Progressive Party’.
The former Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum said since the release of his statement on Wednesday, he has been accused of violating the agreements he reached at the NWC meeting of May 3, 2023 to the effect that he should stop media campaigns and use internal structures of the party to make his demands.
“First, the agreements of May 3 presuppose that structures of the party would be activated to guarantee internal contestations and debates. So far, the only structure of the party meeting is the NWC.
“Even the NWC, since the agreement of May 3, had no dedicated meeting convened to consider all the issues that made it compelling to institute the court case aimed at restoring constitutional order in APC in the first place.
“As a person, no one, not even the National Chairman or National Secretary being the two presiding officers of the party have deemed it fit to invite me for any form of engagement on the issues I raised, which compelled me to institute the legal action against them and the APC. All I see is a return to business as usual.
“Recall that our NEC has not met for more than a year. We have managed the party since April 2022 without an approved budget as required under Article 13.3A(xiv) of the APC constitution. No report of any kind to any organ, not even the NWC.
“Yet, Article 13.4(ii) and (iv) require the NWC to submit quarterly reports of activities and finances covering income and expenditure to NEC.
“Billions of Naira have been expended based on discretionary decisions of the National Chairman and National Secretary. To date, no member of the NWC can claim to know how much is in all the accounts of the party outside Sen. Adamu and Sen. Omisore and perhaps the National Treasurer and National Financial Secretary.
“A party aspiring to be a progressive party must respect its constitution and, at the minimum, allow all its organs to meet as enshrined in the constitution. It is not about convenient interpretation, which with respect to the NEC, for instance, it is statutorily required to meet quarterly and the National Legal Adviser, Barr. Ahmed El-Marzuq would brazenly and audaciously seek to manipulate the NWC to imagine that meetings of NEC should be at the discretion of NWC. This is the kind of advice you can only get from any member of the legal profession whose knowledge of the law is so narrow and self-serving, which is most unfortunate”, he added.
Declaring that he is not afraid of expulsion from the party, Lukman also warned Adamu to stop accusing him before other NWC members, insisting that he has never been sacked in places where he had worked.
“Both Sen. Adamu and Sen. Omisore, from all available reports, appeared to be animated that I have resumed public advocacy on the need to save the APC and ensure that the structures of the party are given life in line with provisions of the APC constitution.
“Yes, I have resumed public advocacy because all the structures that should have permitted internal debates are being blocked from the meeting.
For the records, if you want to resume deliberations to consider expelling me from the party, you are free to do so. I will defend myself publicly to the best of my ability. APC, as a party founded with the vision of being a progressive party, must accommodate debates and contestations.
“Nobody, no matter how highly placed should imagine that the best way to win debates and contestation is to bully and blackmail opponents.
“I can guarantee you; no amount of bullying will stop the campaign to return APC to constitutional order.”