Rumpus in APC over March 26 convention nomination fees, aspirants accuse Adamu of ignoring presidential refund order

There is a growing discordant tune in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged refusal of its national leadership led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu to return nomination fees to those who stepped down at its March 26 National Convention.

President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the party to refund the nomination fees to all aspirants who stepped down for the party’s consensus arrangement four months ago but the presidential order has been given a deaf ear by Adamu’s National Working Committee (NWC).

One of the aspirants, who stepped down at the convention has, however, hinted that if the agreement is not respected it might affect the unity of the party.

The APC chieftain, who pleaded anonymity, complained bitterly of the non-compliance with the Presidential order.

“When President gave the order on March 23rd one will think, the first assignment of the beneficiaries of the consensus arrangement, that is the NWC members was to effect an immediate refund of our nomination fees, having asked us to write our bank details for refund.

“The party is buoyant. The Gov. Buni-led Caretaker Committee left money, the NWC equally realised huge sum of money running to billions of Naira. What excuse will the NWC give for this delay when the committee (NWC) has since paid their allowances?

“Individually we applied for a refund and we have collectively sent a formal letter through the Forum of National Convention Aspirants but all have gone unattended to by the party.”

Blueprint, however, gathered that the party is also currently indebted to members who were engaged to conduct the party’s congresses held from the ward level to the National Convention for the emergence of the party’s flag bearers ahead of the next year’s general election.

The medium recalled that during the March 26th elective national convention, each of the aspirants paid between N20 and N2.5 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms, depending on the office contested for.

After the exercise, the ruling party was said to have raked in over N700 million from about 170 persons who obtained nomination forms to contest for various party positions from that exercise.

It was also learnt that over N3 billion was generated by the party from members who purchased the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms to contest for the party’s tickets ahead 2023 general election.

A staff of the national secretariat who pleaded anonymity said all the allowances they used to enjoy under the previous national chairmen have been stopped.

Responding to the development during an interview Sunday in Abuja, APC national vice chairman (North-west) Salihu Lukman regretted the delay in payment and said that the matter is being looked into.

“It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about four people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me. I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that it is going to happen,” Lukman said.

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