PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : March 12th, 2022

APC succumbs to INEC’s affirmation of Buni as party Chairman

…….Shifts Zonal congress to convention day

After unsuccessful attempts to see through what was described as a palace coup, the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress has said Governor Mai Mala Buni is still in charge of the party as chairman.

This was a sharp shift from the party’s earlier position, in what appeared to be a free-for-all for control of the party’s structure.

The Niger state Governor Sani Bello who took over the affairs of the party in the Secretariat in acting capacity suddenly took a dramatic step to push Buni out of the way for no reasons met with a brick wall.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai who blatantly lied that President Buhari has ordered for the removal of Buni after being briefed of his reluctance to hold the national convention was countered by Buni’s notes of transfer of power to Governor Bello to act while he is away on medicals.

The leadership crisis peaked early Friday when the Independent National Electoral Commission refused to acknowledge Bello’s leadership, stating categorically that only Buni and John Akpanudoedehe were the recognised chairman and secretary, respectively.

This was after Bello had written INEC to intimate and invite it to observe the party’s emergency NEC meeting scheduled for next week.

It is quite unfortunate that Governor Bello denied receiving letter from Buni transmitting all powers to manage the affairs of the party in what appeared to be a struggle for power with Buni.

But INEC’s rejection of Bello prompted a hastily arranged press conference on Friday, which was handled by the spokesman of the CECPC, Mr Ismaeel Ahmed, noting that there was seamless transition of power to Bello from Buni, as against Bello’s denial.

Ahmed who tried hard to make a u-turn said, “Somebody asked, what is the position of Governor Mai Mala Buni in the party, I think it’s pretty simple. I don’t know why this is a complicated process for a lot of people not to understand. Since the inception of this CECPC on June 25, 2020, whenever the chairman is not around and Governor Sani Bello is around, he acts on behalf of all as the Chairman.

“It has always been the case that has never changed. It has always been the case. Now, we have a Convention on March 26. The chairman wrote a letter and transmitted power to Governor Bello to enable him go for medical treatment. Those are two emergencies. He has a medical emergency, that cannot wait for Convention. We have a Convention that cannot wait for him to be healthy.

“So, one has to leave for the other, whichever, he has transmitted a letter and Governor Sani Bello has been acting appropriately. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that? Why is it so difficult for people to simply understand? I cannot understand why people are making this allegation.

“So, Governor Sani Bello is acting the full authority of the Caretaker Committee and with the full authority of the stakeholders and with the full consent of Governor Mai Mala Buni. It is very clear and simple. If anybody has issues with any of our decisions, he can head to court. For now, we are doing it with the full backing of the law. So, there is no ambiguity on this, absolutely none.

“On the issue of Senator John James Akpanudodehe, what is the position because I spelt others out the other members of the committee, but I didn’t say anything about other people as well, we just talked about members of the committee. I didn’t talk about their positions, whether secretary or chairman, since they have their responsibilities spelt out for them.

“The other members are the ones told to come back to handle specific departments and that is what we are doing. At the full course of time, once all these are over, I will be able to brief you. But for now, these are the responsibilities of every member.

“As part of efforts towards the hitch-free conduct of the March 26th National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) stepped up preparations this week.

“Convened a meeting chaired by the Acting Chairman and Governor of Niger State, H.E. Abubakar Sani Bello, where strategies were adopted to fast-track the process towards conducting a National Convention.

“The CECPC committee chaired by His Excellency the Governor of Niger State has issued a notice for a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party on March 17, 2022. As usual, a number of important issues will be discussed at the meeting.”

Meanwhile, the party has announced the postponement of its zonal congresses earlier slated for Saturday, to March 26, 2022, the same day of its national convention.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquarters Abuja.