APC Crisis: Southwest Elders Frown At Moves To Remove Buni As Chairman Caretaker Committees


Some elders from the southwest region have condemned the move by elements within the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove the chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mai Mala-Buni.


The council of elders within the ruling party said they would not recognize Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger state as the national chairman of the caretaker committee.


According to the elders under the aegis of APC Elder's Council (SouthWest), Governor Buni is still the authentic chairman of the CECPC.


A statement signed by a former member of the House of Representatives from Oyo state, Lateef Ali, warned that any other person laying claim to Governor Buni's position is a usurper.


He said anyone who is illegally used as a replacement for Buni would be challenged in a court of law with the prospect of being disgraced.


Ali said:"Our assertion became imperative to forestall further confusion as to who the chairman of the CECPC is, which requires that we responsibly play our role as elders who must not allow things to go irretrievably bad before speaking out.


"We advise that the circumstances that saw His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of Niger State preside over a CECPC meeting must be properly situated and viewed from the right context."


"The facts have been sufficiently proven that Governor Bello only stood in for Governor Buni in the absence of any other senior member of the committee to do so."


The APC Chieftain noted that the council is mindful of the news report that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the removal of Buni and his replacement with Governor Bello.


Ali said the council considers such reports as speculative because there has been nothing to prove that president Buhari ordered such an illegal swap.


He further appealed to stakeholders within the APC to allow reason to prevail at this sensitive stage in the months before the already scheduled general election.


Similarly, a group within the party, APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum (APC-YDSF) described Mala-Buni's removal as illegal.


Speaking at an emergency press briefing that took place on Monday, March 7, in Abuja , the national secretary of the group, Tobias Ogbeh, said that the Yobe state governor remains the legitimate and substantial chairman of the CECPC.


Ogbeh faulted reports that President Muhammad Buhari may have sacked Governor Buni as the CECPC chairman and appointed Governor Abubakar Bello in an acting capacity.


Warning that the move is "anti-democratic" and capable of destroying the party, Ogbeh called for the expulsion of the governor of Niger state,Abubakar Sani Bello, from the party.


The group also urged the council ward of Governor Bello in Niger state and the National Executive Council (NEC) of APC, to immediately perfect his expulsion from the party.


Ogbeh said :"We want to place our record the sense of disappointment we feel that Governor Abubakar Bello lent himself for use as an agent for destabilization of the APC when this same party has been pivotal to his political growth as an individual. It is this party that made him governor today.


APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum categorically re-state that President Muhammadu Buhari, without a meeting of the CECPC, has no right to order the removal of Buni or any member of the CECPC who in the first instance is a product of a collective decision of the party’s NEC meeting held in Abuja sometimes ago."


The APC Chieftain further stated that what Governor Sani and his group have done amounts to staging a coup, which is contrary to known democratic tenets.

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