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El-Rufai reportedly threatens revolt over Buni leadership

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The leadership crisis bedeviling the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to be far from over despite assurances by stakeholders of a unified front.

In the aftermath of internal wrangling within the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday, criticised the ‘charade’ threatening to divide the party ahead of its March 26 National Convention.

Furthermore, the Governor grimly predicted an eventual disintegration of the party, if the ongoing crisis lingers.

In a WhatsApp message allegedly sent to the other APC Governors, El-Rufai enumerated the list of vices being displayed by members of the party, as a reason for his discontent.

The message read, as shared, “Your Excellences, unity is impossible to attain when leaders that are in office, because we consented to it, are consistently erratic, capricious, corrupt, and deceitful.

“Loyalty begets loyalty.
“Deception begets mistrust.
“Betrayal begets revolt.
“Ineptness, greed, and selfishness threaten to destroy what has been built over nearly a decade, by those who didn’t even know how this party was put together.

“Let’s restate that I am done with this charade, unless concrete, honest and transparent steps are taken to implement our agreed plans under a leadership we trusted.

“Thank you. Nasir El-Rufai.”

Last week Wednesday, El-Rufai said the APC governors had discovered a grand conspiracy between the lawyers of the Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni to postpone the national convention of the party through a court injunction.

He said the court injunction which was obtained in November 2021, was never challenged by Buni.

El-Rufai, during Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme, stated, “We got to know of a court order last year. It was obtained in November. A member of the party went to court to say there must not be a convention until his case against the party is disposed of which can take months or years and the lawyers of Buni went to court and agreed with the person and nobody knew about this order.

“It was a hidden nuclear weapon to destroy the convention which further made us believe that there are fifth columnists in the party that want to bring this party down because if we don’t have (convention) and we go ahead with the primaries we might likely have our candidates lose all their seats as the case in Zamfara.

Meanwhile, in the current sequence of events, the secretary of CECPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe was absent at a meeting convened by Buni with Niger State Governor, Sani Bello’s team on Thursday.

This was despite Akpanudoedehe’s insistence that he remains the Secretary of the Committee.

Akpanudoedehe, had in a statement, claimed that Buni had approved the dissolution of the sub-convention committees put in place by Bello and reinstated the ones he set up before embarking on a medical trip to Dubai.

However, in a clear reversal which hints at an ongoing power struggle, Buni clarified that he approved Bello’s decision since he transmitted power to the Niger State Governor before embarking on a medical trip.

Buni said regarding Bello, “Therefore, all actions and measures taken by the committee under his leadership as acting chairman, remain effective. The party calls for support and understanding to move the party forward to a successful convention slated for March 26th, 2022.”

In a damning memo dated March 8, 2022, and signed by a majority of the members of the caretaker committee, a vote of no confidence was passed on Akpanudoedehe.

The notice was signed by Senator Ken Nnamani, Governor Abubakar Bello, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, Prof Tahir Mammah, Senator Abba Alli, Mr. David Lyon, Hon. Akinremi Olàide, Mrs Stella Okotete, Mr. Ismaeel Ahmad, and Dr James Lalu.

Read also: El-Rufai charges political appointees to resign in adherence to Electoral Act

Members of the committee cited Article 17 Sub-section 5 of the APC constitution, which allowed a majority of any constituted ad-hoc committee of the party to pass a vote of no confidence on any member found wanting.

The notice read, “We, the members of the CECPC of the All Progressives Congress, duly constituted on the 25th of June, 2020 by the National Executive Committee of our great party, and sitting in our regular meeting on the 8th Day of March 2022, hereby unanimously resolve and adopt a motion of no confidence on the secretary of the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress, and direct that from today henceforth, he steps aside as the secretary of the committee and stop forthwith all activities and duties associated with the office.”

With the National Convention scheduled for March 26, the ruling party needs to realign the disparate interests of its stakeholders in order to project a unified front as the country clamours for steady leadership with the spiralling state of the economy.

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