- The internal crisis rocking the ruling APC in recent times is said to be fuelled by some major stakeholders of the party
- Ahead of the 2023 general ekection, the plot to remove Yobe state governor failed due to the intervention of INEC and President Muhammadu Buhari
- Meanwhile, the plot to remove Buni as the chairman of the party's caretaker committee thickens when he travel outside the shores of nigeria for medical check-up
Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has lost the battle to oust Yobe State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mai Mala Buni.
Buni has survived the plot by some powerful forces in the party sequel to interventions by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and President Muhammadu Buhari, Daily Trust reports.
The Buni-led committee was inaugurated on June 25, 2020, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).
Governors El-Rufai, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Sani Bello of Niger state were said to be among other governors who worked assiduously to remove Buni from office.
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The battle to oust Buni thickened during his medical trip abroad. El-Rufai had announced that President Muhammadu Buhari directed them to remove Buni and anoint Niger State governor Bello to take charge of the affairs of the party.
Since Bello’s emergence, the crisis rocking the ruling party deepened and the political atmosphere at the party’s national secretariat became hazy.
El-Rufai camp’s gambit
El-Rufai in a recent interview, disclosed that President Buhari had given them a clear directive to remove Buni as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the APC.
The governor said governors elected on the party’s platform allowed things to degenerate in the party by taking the back seat.
Buni’s camp kick
But some governors in Buni’s camp equally reacted. Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, countered El-Rufai, saying that Buni had not been removed as the chairman of the caretaker committee.
He insisted that the governor of Niger state, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, was only detailed by his counterpart in Yobe to hold a brief while he left for medical leave abroad.
Buni had also issued a statement saying he would return from his medical trip and continue running the party from where he stopped, revealing that he transmitted a letter to Sani Bello to act in his absence.
In the letter dated February 28, 2022, and obtained by our correspondent, Buni willingly transmitted power to Bello.
Part of the letter reads:
“This is to inform you that I will be embarking on a medical trip to the United Arab Emirates from today, February 28, 2022. I will resume office upon my discharge from the hospital.
“In my absence, I hereby transmit the functions of my office as the National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to you. This is to enable the committee to conclude all arrangements leading to the national convention slated for March 26, 2022, and other duties that may be required of the office.
“I invite all members to cooperate with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello by extending to him all the support that I have enjoyed from you.”
Legit.ng gathered that that Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi State; Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Hope Uzodinma of Imo State are behind their Yobe counterpart.
How plot by El-Rufai’s camp hit the rocks
The plot by El-Rufai’s camp to oust Buni hit the rocks when the INEC rejected Bello’s letter notifying it of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the APC.
Bello had written a letter to INEC requesting that the commission attends the APC’s NEC meeting scheduled for last Thursday.
It was gathered that the clandestine plot was to remove Buni and Senator John Akpanudoedehe as chairman and secretary of the caretaker committee.
Unfortunately for the ‘rebels’, INEC rejected the letter of invitation because it was not signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the CECPC, Buni, and Akpanudoedehe, respectively.
Buni meets Buhari in London
To reclaim his seat, Buni met with President Buhari in London when the plot to remove him thickened. The president was in London for a medical check-up.
Buni’s visit to Buhari in London was confirmed in a statement by his Director-General, Press and Media Affairs, Mohammed Mamman, in Abuja.
Buhari orders status quo ante
President Buhari had a few days ago, cautioned the governors and others opposed to Buni’s leadership and ordered that the status quo ante be observed.
Buhari also urged the governors to allow the Buni-led caretaker committee to proceed with all preparations to hold the March 26 elective national convention of the party.
Buni, who returned to Nigeria on Thursday, received a briefing from Niger State governor, Sani Bello, assuring that the March 26 national convention remains sacrosanct.
With the vacation of the court order restraining the convention and the relative stability in the party, the coast is clear for the convention of the ruling party. Buni has another week to pilot the affairs of the party. The convention holds next Saturday.
New twist as APC reportedly sacks national caretaker secretary
This development is coming after the APC caretaker committee reportedly passed a vote of no confidence on Akpanudoedehe and sacked him.
According to a statement obtained by Legit.ng in the early hours of Thursday, March 17, the majority of the members of the committee passed the vote of no confidence on Akpanudoedehe through a notice issued on Tuesday, March 8.
The committee stated that the sack of Senator Udoedehe is pursuant to Article 17 subsection 5 of the constitution of the APC which allows a majority of any constituted ad-hoc committee of the party to pass a vote of no confidence on any member found wanting.