Three weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari promised that he would ensure that the Expression of Interest and Nomination fees paid by other chairmanship aspirants who stepped down for the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the party has not refunded the aspirants, THISDAY has learnt.
Adamu emerged as the party’s national chairman at the March 26 national convention after other chairmanship aspirants stepped down.
Following the decision of other aspirants to step down, Buhari advised that the leadership of the party should refund the sum of N20 million paid by each aspirant for the form.
But one of the aspirants who did not want to be named, told THISDAY yesterday that the money was yet to be refunded by the party.
Also, a Director, Contact and Mobilisation to one of the chairmanship aspirants who pleaded anonymity informed THISDAY that the money has not been refunded.
He, however, expressed optimism that the money would be refunded by the leadership of the party because the directive came from the president.
He stated: “They have not paid yet. You know I’m not the spokesperson of the party, I can only tell you what I know. There was a Transition Committee set up for the handing over. I think they have submitted their report, I think that was why the chairman took over from the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
“But they’ve not refunded any money to anybody yet. But I know they will do that because it is the president that gave that instruction and the president is the leader of the party. They were supposed to do it immediately, but you know how to party affairs are being run in Nigeria, maybe, they’ve used the money for some other things. So, maybe if they start selling these presidential, governorship forms, they will have more money they can use to pay back.”
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, who was one of the chairmanship aspirants that stepped down for Adamu said that he had willingly donated his money to the party and urged other aspirants to do the same.
Akume said: “Those of us who tried to have a shot at the chairmanship slot; we are still members of this party and nothing had distracted us from joining others in finding solutions to the small problems that we have in the APC.
“The issue of directives did not occur whatsoever in our dinner with Mr. president. We ate dinner with him and he appealed to us to build consensus as much as we could.
“And that was basically what we did; it was not a directive and you know who the president is; democratic to the core. The issue of money does not arise. I had willingly donated my own to the party and I believe others would do the same thing.”
Efforts to get the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Felix Morka to respond to the issue proved abortive as he did respond to the text message and calls put across to him.
Culled from THISDAY