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Abdullahi Adamu’s Slippery Fall

PoliticsAbdullahi Adamu’s Slippery Fall

The removal of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress became imminent after the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential poll in view of the roles he played to frustrate the presidential ambition of the former Lagos State governor. 

The recent resignation of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, did not come as a surprise to many analysts, given the circumstances under which he emerged and the roles he admittedly played to frustrate the presidential ambition of President Bola Tinubu.

Adamu’s emergence as the National Chairman of the ruling party at its March 26, 2022 national convention was part of a wider plot by some forces in former President Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency and the ruling party to stop Tinubu from emerging as the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 general election.

The same anti-Tinubu forces had in June 2020, under controversial circumstances, sacked the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and imposed a legally questionable national caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as chairman.

Oshiomhole’s major sin was his alleged closeness to Tinubu.

All the intrigues by the Buni-led committee to frustrate Tinubu’s ambition failed.

These included elongating its tenure, delaying the party’s national convention and considering drafting former President Goodluck Jonathan into the APC’s presidential race.

Buni was later forced to schedule a national convention, especially as the legality of his committee became doubtful following a judgment of the Supreme Court.

Ahead of the March 26 convention, Tinubu, as a political strategist, was believed to have supported all the leading chairmanship aspirants of the party. It was believed that the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, would have emerged as the chairman of the party in the March 26 convention due to his closeness to Buhari.

Al-Makura was the only governor on the platform of Buhari’s defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

But when the anti-Tinubu forces perceived his alleged hands in Al-Makura’s ambition, they quickly settled for Adamu, who left PDP only in 2014.

Before he was suddenly drafted into the chairmanship race, Adamu was busy with his assignment as chairman of APC reconciliation committee when other chairmanship aspirants were embarking on nationwide consultations.

Adamu, a known non-political associate of Tinubu, was anointed to stop his presidential ambition.

Tinubu’s allies believed that some of the nine guidelines imposed on the APC presidential aspirants in the form of code of conduct, including the signing of voluntary withdrawal form were among Adamu’s strategies to impose a consensus presidential candidate.

Adamu was also believed to have embarked on repeated extension of the deadline for the sale of APC presidential forms and the shifting of the screening of presidential candidates to buy time while the search for a consensus presidential candidate that would stop Tinubu continued.

When Tinubu made what many considered as disparaging remarks against then President Buhari and Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in Abeokuta, Ogun State few days to the party’s presidential primary, Adamu was quick to threaten him with a sanction, saying that he should blame himself if his insults on Buhari cost him his presidential ambition.

When all the plots to frustrate Tinubu failed, Adamu hurriedly announced the then Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party, claiming that the party reached the decision in consultation with President Buhari.

However, the backlash that greeted the announcement forced the Presidency to disown Adamu.

Seven members of the NWC of the party also denied Adamu’s claim, insisting that Lawan was his personal choice and not the party’s consensus candidate.

Lawan’s fate was finally sealed when 11 northern governors elected on the platform of the party insisted on power shift to the South.

 It was not surprising that after Tinubu had won the APC presidential primary, there was cold war between his loyalists and Adamu.

The cold war got to a peak in September 2022, forcing Tinubu to deny nursing grudges against Adamu.

He argued that his alleged cold war with Adamu was a rumour manufactured to suit a particular purpose.

Tinubu said: “To the rumour manufacturers, I read in some papers about a disagreement between myself and the chairman and that was a very big lie. They didn’t know that we have come a long way. The big masquerade dance not in the cage but in the market square. 

“And that is what Adamu use to be, full of wisdom, we were governors together, before God put us together on this project again. He is going to deliver as the chairman of the party for me to become the president of Nigeria. And I am very confident of that,” he reportedly told journalists at the APC national secretariat.

Tinubu’s claim did not however, douse tension between his loyalists and Adamu’s camp.

When Tinubu emerged victorious in the February 25 presidential election, many believed that Adamu’s exit was a matter of few months.

The crisis of confidence deepened when APC leadership and Tinubu anointed Senator Godswill Akpabio and Tajudeen Abbas as their consensus candidates for the positions of Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.

The former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdulaziz Yari, who challenged Akpabio was believed to be Adamu’s candidate.

When Abbas and other lawmakers-elect visited Vice President Kashim Shettima before their inauguration, the vice president had addressed Abbas as “by God’s grace, our Speaker-in-waiting.”

Shettima had also referred to his anointed deputy, Benjamin Kalu, as “our Deputy Speaker-in-waiting.”

But when Abbas and his team visited Adamu, he reportedly warned Abbas’ supporters to stop addressing the Kaduna lawmaker as the incoming Speaker.

Adamu’s statement had angered the National Vice Chairman of the APC for North-west, Dr. Salihu Lukman, who alleged that the leadership of the APC was subtly working against Tinubu on the zoning arrangement adopted by the party.

Though Akpabio and Abbas successfully emerged as the presiding officers of the National Assembly, Adamu’s recent claim that the party’s NWC had no hand in the emergence of the principal officers announced by the two presiding officers re-ignited the crisis of confidence in the party.

Tinubu was believed to be behind the announcement of the principal officers who are made up of his loyalists.

As the controversy was still raging, Adamu admitted on ARISE TV that he actually supported Lawan in the run-up to the party’s presidential primaries.

As the party chairman, he was supposed to be neutral. But having worked for an aspirant who lost, it was not surprising that he was forced to resign.

The claim by the party that the audit report indicted him is the usual ploy the Nigerian political class uses to remove perceived enemies from office.

In the end, no corruption case will be successfully pursued to secure his conviction in the court.

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