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From Buni To Bello: How APC Crisis Is Taking New Dimension

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Emotions are running high as fresh crisis looms in the ranks of the ruling All Progressives Congress following the emergence of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State as the new acting national chairman of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).

The party had been polarised into factions in many states. This was compounded by the crisis arising from parallel congresses at ward, local government and state levels.

A National Reconciliation Committee was formed to resolve the crisis ahead of its national convention earlier scheduled for February 26 but did not achieve results. The convention was consequently shifted to March 26.

While at it, Bello took over on Monday in a dramatic manner from the Yobe State’s Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who is said to be currently in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Buni had travelled out of the country last week, handing over the party’s leadership to Bello, though it was said that the latter had wanted to hand over to the party’s National Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, or a former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani.

I’m APC acting chairman, says Niger governor
Buni finally sacked as Niger governor takes charge of APC

Bello had earlier on Monday dismissed the claim that Buni had been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari from leading the affairs of the party Bello, dismissed the claims.

Emerging from a meeting where he presided over the state chairmen’s oath of office later on Monday in Abuja, he stated that he had been acting as the national chairman of the APC since Buni travelled out of the country.

“The states chairmen took their oath of office today and we discussed progress made so far on the convention and what needs to be done next so that we will achieve the March 26 date for the convention,” Bello had said.

Asked in what capacity he presided over the meeting, he said, “Acting Chairman. I have been acting for a while since the Chairman traveled.”

I’m still in charge, Buni insists

But while responding to speculations regarding his sack, Buni insisted that he is still the party’s national chairman and dismissed the claim as “fake news.”

The governor made the declaration in a statement on Monday morning signed by the National Secretary of the CECPC, Akpanudoedehe.

“Our attention has been drawn to sponsored media reports on an imaginary leadership change in the All Progressives Congress APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.

“The media report is fake news and should be disregarded. The APC is a progressive political party guided by rules. Leadership changes are not announced by ‘sources’ through name dropping in the media.

“We urge our teeming supporters, members and indeed the general public to remain calm and support the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC CECPC conduct a rancour-free and credible National Convention deserving of our great party,” the statement read.

Bello, NEC member clash

While responding to Bello’s decision to convene the National Executive Council meeting, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Yekini Nabena told the Niger State governor to abort the plan, saying that it lacked Buni’s approval.

Nabena had said, “I am using this medium to call on our leaders across the states to caution Governor Sani Bello of Niger State. The Presidency should also call him to order to immediately drop the plan to convey a NEC meeting without the knowledge of Governor Mai Mala Buni and the Secretary of the CECPC.

“The likes of Governor Bello are the political vultures working against our party and to cause anarchy in the ruling APC.

“Governor Sani Bello is neither the Chairman nor Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee. So, where did he get the powers to convey such meeting?

“Governor Bello should not destroy the ruling APC because of his personal political ambition of becoming Vice President or whatever in 2023.”

Nabena also warned Bello not to let his personal ambition override the party’s interest.

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