‘Tinubu’s Godfather’, Bisi Akande, Others Move To Sack APC National Working Committee

Chief Bisi Akande
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 ‘Al-Makura, Lalong In Race To Replace Adamu’

By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

Prior to and since his victory in the 2023 Presidential Election the narrative that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no political godfather has gained some traction, especially on Social Media where young All Progressives Congress (APC) members and supporters often tout this as a reason the President would succeed because – as the argument goes – he has no moneybag who financed his election to pander to.

 While it is indeed difficult to pinpoint an individual as the major financier of the Tinubu presidential bid – it was a collective effort with many of the country’s 1%  wealthy men and women, especially in Corporate Nigeria, pitching in – hence the President does not have a political godfather in the classical, Nigerian sense, those who push President Tinubu’s ultra-independence in politics discountenance the strong pull of his ancient, gerontocratic Yoruba culture on him even as Nigeria’s Number One citizen.

     Well, those praising the President for this political exceptionalism might soon experience how the Yoruba elders – singly and collectively – prod on their charges (young or advanced in age) in public offices towards set goals, or steer them away from the brink of disastrous policies and political decisions – all from their real and metaphoric Agbantara (rocking chairs) right from their retiree homesteads and without setting foot in the seat of power.

    Reason: Feelers reaching The Dream Daily Newspaper have it that one of the Yoruba, old wise heads to whom President Tinubu defers to, former Osun State Governor and veritable APC chieftain, Chief Bisi Akande, has set his sight on dissolving the APC National Working Committee (NWC), with a view to electing a new set of party members to steer the affairs of the governing APC.

 According to sources who pleaded anonymity, Chief Akande – in consultation with certain APC leaders – have reviewed the performance of individual members of the APC NWC in their state in the 2023 General Election. Having found many of them wanting as the APC lost in the domains of such high ranking NWC members as the party Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Chief Akande, sources said, is building a consensus within the APC to rejig the NWC via dissolution and fresh a national convention where new executives of the party would be elected as way of rebuilding the party ahead of the next general elections.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

  According to sources within the APC, President Tinubu has been briefed on this imperative and he is on the same page with Chief Akande and other elders of the APC close to him on this matter. “Consequently”, one of our sources said, “things are about to start happening in the APC NWC.”

 Apart from poor showings in their local areas, The Dream Daily Newspaper investigation also revealed that many party chieftains are fed up with open and subterranean bickering and allegations of campaign funds  and other financial malfeasance levelled against the current NWC leadership from within and without, which have attracted bad press for the APC.

Ex-Governor Simon Lalong

 There are claims that party chieftains and even the President have expressed concern over the way the NWC has been handling staff welfare at the APC National Secretariat Abuja and party supporters across the country.

 Also, our investigation revealed a growing chasm between members of the APC NWC and the Presidency, which is signposted by a widening worry and panic among the NWC members who say the party executive body is falling into irrelevance as it was not carried along in the process leading to the presidential appointments made thus far by President Tinubu as well as his dissolution of the boards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Senator Tanko Almakura

One of the sources said: “You know, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a party man. He watched the party’s activities closely during former President Muhammadu Buhari tenure. Buhari did not check the party activities and he didn’t fund the party as expected. But the current President has interest in the running of the party and is planning to put people in the NWC who can help him deliver on the party manifesto to Nigerians.

 “Don’t be surprised if you hear that the President is planning to replace the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC. A lot is going on in the background. Names are cropping up here and there. Simon Lanlong, Tanko Almakura, you know, the party bigwigs in the Middle Belt where Senator Abdullahi Adamu hails from, are being touted as his replacement, for instance. Same for other NWC members who performed abysmally in the 2023 General Elections. The party NEC meeting is in the pipeline. I believe Almakura is likely the choice of the President in the planned NEC Meeting. He has even given a notice to that effect to the APC National Working Committee to start the process of holding a NEC Meeting. Adamu and some members of the NWC will get soft landings, I believe, so they do not feel disgraced out of office, maybe an appointment on some boards or even as ambassadorial picks.” 

  Another sources alleged that “nobody is comfortable with Sen Abdullahi Adamu anymore as National Chairman of our party, APC. Even his Governor, Abdullahi Sule is not happy with him. You can see how Sule managed to win Nasarawa state. The national chairman did not help him to campaign for his second term bid. So Governor Sule too has his preference in Almakura to succeed Abdullahi Adamu as APC National Chairman.

 “To be honest, some APC NWC members and most of the directors here did not campaign for Tinubu. They believed that due to Buhari’s poor handling of the affairs of the country, the party would lose the Presidency in 2023. So most of them did not campaign even though they collected the campaign funds. And even up till know, most of the campaign council members have not been paid. President Tinubu does not want this under his leadership of the party and he has already started working towards a possible solution.

Another source alleged: “Just take a look at the APC National Secretariat. Do you see staff coming to work? Where do they get money for transport when they are not paid and their welfare taken for granted by the Sen. Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee. Adamu is the first national chairman in this country that has all the aides you can think of. His aides surpass that of the President. They are the ones enjoying the party. When he took over this party, he sacked all the directors, even though most of them were corrupt but not all of them. He brought his people into the party’s directorate to quiet us here and that’s why nobody is talking about it.

“Adamu is running this party as his personal company. He doesn’t have the monitoring team that can help him understand the party at the various levels in the country. So he is not taking informed decisions as far as I’m concerned. Party faithful have been sending trucks of rice, beans including money and many other things here for staff welfare but we only see vehicles coming in and packing everything while we watch here.” 

On the possibility of some members of the party NWC getting ministerial appointment, another source who did not want his name in print said: “I don’t think the President will give any of them appointment of any kind into his cabinet except the National Treasurer who delivered his state in the 2023 General Election and enjoys a cordial relationship with his governor and the former governor Dave Umahi in Ebonyi State.

 “You know the former governor is in the Senate and he is likely to get a juicy principal office in the National Assembly. Recently, the governor of Ebonyi State came here to the National Secretariat and had a meeting with the national treasurer. So I am convinced that with the window provided by the President for governors to make input into his cabinet, I believe the national treasurer will likely get something. But all the rest, are nowhere close to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu cabinet as far as politics is concerned, and as far as I can see.” 

In any case, public affairs analysts say there is no love lost between President Tinubu and Sen. Abdullahi Adamu as they recalled alleged efforts made by the latter to frustrate the President from clinching the APC presidential ticket as President Buhari and the infamous Aso Rock cabal worked to give the ticket to their favorite candidate, a plot which backfired at the APC presidential convention at the Eagle Square as Tinubu defeated Rotimi Amaechi, then Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, who according to sources were the three aspirants sponsored by the Buhari Cabal in a high-stake hedge to prevent Tinubu from getting the APC presidential ticket .

Analysts especially recalled how Sen. Adamu rebuffed and disgraced Sen. Adams Oshiomhole at the APC National Headquarters when the now elected senator reportedly came to lobby Adamu and other NWC members to support Tinubu’s bid for the APC presidential ticket.

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