- ACN power blocs have started to feel uncomfortable with the leadership style of Mai Mala Buni in the APC
- The CPC and ANPP power blocs now decide who gets what at the ruling party national secretariat ahead of its national convention
- Buni has also been accused of outright nepotism by deferring only to his colleagues in the north for consultations
FCT, Abuja - A report by ThisDay newspaper indicates that since the emergence of Mai Mala Buni as the caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), those allegedly calling the shots in the party are close aides of the Yobe state governor.
Buni's emergence is said to have strengthened the Congress for Progressives Congress (CPC) and All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) blocs within the party while sidelining the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) bloc.
The three parties merged to create the APC months before the 2015 general elections.
According to the report, one Muritala Yakubu, a personal assistant and a powerful influential member of the Buni’s ‘kitchen cabinet’, the Chief of Staff, Abdullahi Gasuwa, and director organising, one Prof. Al-Mustapha Mednaer are practically in charge of party affairs.
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The report revealed that on sensitive party matters, Buni only takes into confidence governors from the north: Kebbi state governor; Atiku Bagudu, his Jigawa state counterpart, Abubakar Badaru, and Niger state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.
This is despite the existence of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), the umbrella body of the governors elected on the platform of the APC.
The southwest is also excluded in the ongoing power play despite the fact that Osun state governor, Gboyega Oyetola is a member of the caretaker committee.
The Buni-led committee is said to be wary of Oyetola as the latter is perceived as being too close to a former Lagos state governor and leader of the defunct ACN power bloc, Bola Tinubu.
The Yobe state governor is also accused of nepotism because he is favourably disposed to giving national assignments to chieftains of the party from the north.
Sources cited as examples, the chairman of the APC eight-member constitution review committee, led by Professor Tahir Mamman, and chairman of the national reconciliation committee, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, inaugurated last week.
A party source said contrary to the perception out there, the national secretary of the caretaker committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe has no grip on the party administration as he often defers to the kitchen cabinet of Buni.
As the party edges closer to its national convention which is tentatively scheduled to hold in December, the perception out there is that a chieftain of the defunct CPC chieftain is being pencilled to succeed Governor Buni as national chairman.
Meanwhile, an APC chieftain from Ekiti state, Ayokunle Owolabi, who spoke to Legit.ng on the issue, stated that the internal wrangling in the ruling party will stop after its national convention.
He said in a phone interview:
“These issues coming up now are because we have not held our national convention. That is why some of us are insisting that the APC leadership organise the convention before the year runs out. Once all positions are taken at the convention, there will be relative peace in the party.”
Influential Political Group Defects to Delta PDP From APC
In Delta, leaders, and members of an influential political group in the APC have defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday, November 15 received chieftains of the group who are from Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency at Government House, Asaba.
The leader of the delegation, Mr. Sylvester Ogokunu, described the APC as a "horror house of commotion and gangsterism."
APC Expels Party Chieftain for Congratulating Soludo
In Anambra, the state chapter of the APC sacked its publicity secretary, Okelo Madukaife for congratulating Anambra governor-elect, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo.
The state chairman of the party, Basil Ejidike announced the sack of Madukaife at a press conference in Awka, the Anambra state capital on Sunday, November 14.
He said Madukaife who was suspended in June this year had continued to parade himself as the public secretary to the extent that he appeared on national television recently to congratulate the Soludo.