The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday pushed back against a Premium Times story that exposed how the party asked its governors to contribute up to N6 billion for its upcoming congresses and convention, despite being behind on salaries and pensions of workers.
The humongous levy is expected to be settled, using public funds, by the party’s 24 state governors at N250 million per head. The party’s decision was conveyed to the governors during a meeting at its national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
The details of the meeting was published exclusively by the platform on Friday, using the story to underscore the perennial suffering of thousands of state worker who have gone several months without pay.
On Saturday, Bolaji Abdullahi, national spokesperson for the APC, claimed the story misrepresented the party and offered clarification.
He said governors were asked to pay their outstanding party levies, but suggested some governors may be owing as much as N250 million.
“At the meeting of the National Working Committee and the governors of the party held at the party secretariat on Thursday 26 April, it was pointed out that many of the governors have fallen behind in the payment of their party dues.
“While some of the governors have been up-to-date with the payments, a few others have not paid at all. The governors were therefore requested to pay up, especially in view of upcoming party activities.
“It is therefore possible that a governor that falls in the category of those that has not paid since inception could be owing up to N250 million,” Mr Abdullahi said in a statement.
He continued: “For avoidance of doubts, party dues are paid by all members of the party holding positions, either by election or appointment. Therefore, members of the National Assembly as well as cabinet ministers also remit a percentage of their earnings to the party.”
But Premium Times claims it stands by its story based on the evidence already obtained from party insiders who disclosed details of the meeting under anonymity.
The N250 million governors are being asked to pay is a lump sum that party officials say would be needed for their upcoming activities, which also include the election of new state and national executives.
Some state governors had already paid, while several others are still sourcing for funds.