- Details of the drama behind the alleged rumoured removal of the chairman of APC's caretaker committee, Mai Mala-Buni has been revealed
- Members of the party said some cabals within the APC have been painstakingly working to ensure that the president removes the Yobe state governor from the position
- These members said that the cabal was eager to instal the Niger state governor, Abubakar Bello as the chairman of the committee but failed when they were forced to understand the legal implication of their action against the party
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress on Monday, March 7, took a fresh turn after some members of the party rushed to press to announced the removal of the governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala-Buni, as chairman of the party's Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
The reports had it that Buni had been replaced with the Niger state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello by President Muhammadu Buhari before leaving for his medical check-up in London.
In line with the reports, Governor Bello resumed at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja but was forced to do a walk back after his faction was confronted with the legal implication of the President usurping the powers of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC).
They were duly informed by key members of the party that the party's NEC is the only body that has the constitutional responsibility to sack Buni or the CECPC.
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Sources with the APC told Legit.ng that it was only then the governor accepted that he only presided over the meeting of CECPC because his colleague from Yobe was absent at the time.
A source said that a team of key members of the party under the leaders of the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai had approached the president with an allegation that Buni has plotted to remain beyond the national convention scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 26.
According to the source, the cabal based its decision on a court order obtained by a member of the APC, Salisu Umoru.
The order had restrained the Buni led CECPC and the APC from conducting its national convention until some questions before the court were answered.
However, sources within the party have confirmed that the lawsuit was originally instituted by those who are now opposed to Governor Mai Mallam Buni after they discovered they could not manipulate him to do their biddings.
The source said:
"Unfortunately, Buni has refused to marginalize any member of the party preferring to be a leader for all.
“The latest decision to therefore remove Mai MAllam Buni is not in any way connected with the National Convention billed for March 26, as they want to coerce people into their narrow political interest ahead of 2023."
Another member of the party alleged that most of the cabal members are eyeing the seat of the vice president of Nigeria.
It was also gathered that they have perfected their plans to achieve this by controlling the party at its highest level which is the obvious reason they perceive Buni as a threat.
While they were jubilating over the news that Buni has been removed and Bello named as a replacement, their joy was cut short when they were made to realize that they were on the verge of subjecting the party to a series of litigations that would cripple it for the 2023 general elections.
Speaking on the issue, a member of the APC national convention planning committee, Steven Deegbara, Governor Bello is a member of APC CECPC which Governor Mai Malla Buni is chairman.
Deegbara noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had travelled out of the country with some governors but he was sure if Buni was on the team with the president.
“And to ensure there's no vacuum, the planned activities of the APC national secretariat have to go on, with Governo Bello, a member of APC CECPC standing in, acting as chairman in Governor Buni's stead.
“All other members of the APC CECPC, including Gov Sani Bello and the national Secretary Sen John Akpanudoedehe remains intact."
He further added that in the absence of Buni, the Niger state governor had only stood in to perform the day's timetable for the party.
Some of the activities on the party's timetable included the formal swearing-in of all state chairmen of the APC and those who were initially issued certificates of return by CECPC.
“Governor Bello, in the absence of Governor Buni, flanked by Secretary Sen Akpanudoedehe and all other members of the CECPC, also inaugurated sub-committees for the APC national convention.
“APC is not in any crisis, the 26th March, 2022 national convention date remains sacrosanct."
"With the explanations from the Hon Okey Eziala, Abia state publicity secretary of APC, who was on ground in Abuja APC National Secretariat, it has effectively put to rest all the fake stories emanating from children of anger."
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had made frantic efforts to guide the president against the decision of the cabal which wanted Mai MAllam Buni removed from office at all costs.
Malami cited the direct legal implications and the fact that it is only the NEC of the party that can remove the Chairman of the CECPC and not by mere presidential pronouncement.
It is believed that as of Monday, March 7, morning, the president who left the country on Sunday, March 6, had to change his mind.
This happened after some Governors on the platform of the party prevailed on him not to allow selfish interests by any individual to destroy the party.
Despite all this, party members said it is unfortunate that the cabal went ahead to push the false story of Buni’s removal.
Why I replaced Buni, Governor Sani Bello makes shocking revelation
According to governor Sani Bello, replacing Buni was a decision made due to his absence of the chairman of the APC caretaker committee.
Sani Bello for the first time presided over the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) in Abuja.
The Niger state governor who presided over the swearing-in of the state's chairman said the moves were a work in progress ahead of the national convention.
Crisis rocks APC as group declares Buni's removal illegal, makes heavy demand
A group had condemned the reported removal of the governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala-Buni, as the national chairman of the APC's caretaker committee.
APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum said Mala-Buni's replacement with Governor Sani Bello of Niger state is illegal.
According to the group, President Muhammadu Buhari does not have the sole right to make such changes within the party.