From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Fresh crisis has hit the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the retraction of a ‘draft letter’ purported to have been written by the National Working Committee (NWC) to its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The letter purportedly signed by the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and leaked to the public, had specifically warned the presidential candidate to order the immediate withdraw of the 422-man campaign list released recently to halt further escalation of the rift between the party’s leadership and the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
However, in a somersault few hours later, the NWC, issued a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, denying it had anything to do with the unsigned letter.
Daily Sun gathered that the decision by Morka to officially distance the NWC as author of the draft letter, given ongoing rift with the PCC is causing serious ripples and division among members of the party’s leadership. It was learnt that Morka’s letter issued as face saving measure to reassure the public that all was well with APC had the backing of some top shots of the party who felt uncomfortable with it.
However, reacting angrily to the denial of the letter, a member of the NWC expressed shock over the action of the party’s spokesperson, saying the leadership did not authorise his action.
In an interview with Daily Sun, the official confirmed that the letter emanated from NWC members who have vowed to stand by all decisions contained in it and not allow the PCC take over their responsibilities.
“We resolved during our meeting on Wednesday to write to our presidential candidate and President Muhammadu Buhari to specifically register our anger over the actions of the PCC in usurping our responsibility. I can confirm to you that NWC authored that letter written to our presidential candidate, but it was unfortunate that it got leaked the way it did at that stage. The leakage is regrettable, but that will not in anyway change the decision we took during out meeting.
“If the letter leaked and so what? Some of our members are angry that the publicity secretary issued that statement without authorisation from members. We never agreed on such decision to warrant him making such U-turn unilaterally on the decision we took during our meeting on Wednesday.
“Many of us have agreed to stand by our decision on the letters to Tinubu and Buhari. We cannot fold our hands and watch the PCC take over our responsibility. If for no other thing, it will set a bad precedence. If the PCC leadership succeeds in this, our positions in the party is no longer secured,” the NWC member said.
The leaked draft letter read: “May I therefore, point out to Your Excellency, that winning elections is a cooperative, as well as, collaborative effort, done in transparency and disinterested manner by all parties concerned, by respecting established boundaries and acknowledging the contributions of everyone.
“The NWC believes that any sign of disarray in the party’s ranks will undermine the spirit and ethos of the campaign and give undue alarm to faithful members and followers of the party across the country.
“At the same, such a development would undoubtedly come as “Manna from Heaven” for the opposition parties, whose only desire when all else fails, is to see the introduction of rancour, division and disinclination in the leadership of our great party.
“I am sure Your Excellency will agree with me that this is an eventuality that we must do all in our power to prevent from happening. You will also agree that we owe it a duty as leaders to provide guidance by example to the rest of the Party including the PCC, to abide by agreements and adhere strictly to the work ethos that has been adopted by all of us. It is only by doing so that we will establish the premise for victory and gain the trust and confidence of our dear countrymen and women. Without further admonishment or complaints, I wish hereby to call upon Your Excellency to restrain the PCC from undertaking solo projects of this nature, and agree to work with all stakeholders towards taking our Party to victory.”
Morka in the letter disassociating the NWC from the letter titled: “APC Presidential Campaign Council – Abdullahi Adamu did not write Tinubu” had said:”To be clear, the “draft” letter did not emanate from the party. An Unsigned letter that marks itself as a ‘draft’ cannot and should not be attributed to its purported author. The National Chairman of our party and our presidential candidate maintain cordial and effective communication channels, and enjoy full liberty of open and frank conversations on matters of interest to the party and our presidential campaign.
“As such, an unsigned “draft” letter of the kind in circulation is patently unnecessary and of no qualitative value to engagement between the party and the PCC. We will not be distracted by the wishes and actions of detractors that wait gleefully but in vain for some kind of crisis to erupt between the party and the PCC. We stand united, as a party, in our resolve and commitment to execute a focused and issue-driven campaign to persuade Nigerians to renew our mandate in next year’s general election.”