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Leadership crisis in APC over Buhari’s alleged comment, police storm secretariat



The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been hit by a leadership crisis over an alleged statement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the chairman of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni has to step down.

Following the statement, there was uncertainty about who was actually in charge of the party’s affairs, as there were reports that the president had ordered the Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello to take over the party’s affairs.

On Monday, the police authorities moved in and cordoned off the street in Abuja where the national secretariat of the APC is located, and stationed its personnel around the secretariat.

It is still unclear who called in the police.

This is coming ahead of the rescheduled March 26 National Convention, of the APC and many fear it might threaten or derail its ambition in the 2023 elections.

In a recent meeting with the President, only 11 APC Governors were present which led to speculations that a faction within the ruling party was angling to bring down Buni’s leadership in favour of Bello, but sources within the party refuted these claims.

The governors on the party’s platform were alleged to have complained bitterly to the president that Buni was not inclined to holding the convention as rescheduled, because there were no preparations on the ground to indicate so.

Consequently, Buhari ratified the removal of the CECPC Chairman before his trip to the United Kingdom on Sunday, for medicals.

Read also: Ganduje’s lack of leadership qualities catalyst for APC crisis in Kano —Shekarau

However, sources who spoke to THISDAY accused the Governors of creating in-fighting within the ranks for their selfish ambitions.

“They are creating unnecessary crisis in the party, because of their selfish interests. How can they claim there are no preparations to hold the convention, when various convention sub-committees have been announced; the zonal committee is announcing the zoning formula on Monday (today).

“Committees will be inaugurated in a few days. These people are not sincere. Some governors have been scheming to take over the functions of CECPC to further their own interests.

“The immediate way out of this is; if Buni voluntarily resigns, which he had two weeks ago threatened to during the APC governors meeting in Abuja,” they claimed.

In a move aimed at obvious damage control, a meeting was announced for Monday but the street which houses the APC National Secretariat in Abuja was cordoned off by heavy security presence with no inward or outward vehicular movement allowed.

Political analysts revealed that it cannot be stated for a fact that the National Secretary of Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, was responsible for the meeting on order to avert the crisis.

The Secretary has always been a staunch advocate of the Buni-led CECPC which he confirmed during the confusion over the National Convention, in January.

According to Akpanudoedehe, the National Executive Committee of the party had seceded its powers to the committee and as such, the committee could sit as NWC and as NEC of the party.

“We are NEC and we are the caretaker committee,” he said, adding, “We have the power of NEC and NWC.”

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