The Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, remains the chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC), multiple sources in the party have told SaharaReporters.
The simmering leadership crisis rocking the APC for weeks had taken a different dimension on Monday in Abuja when the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, stormed the party’s national secretariat to assume the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
Bello, who arrived amid heightened security presence comprising about 70 security personnel with no less than 15 patrol vehicles, which barricaded access roads to the premises, said he had the blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, he will be serving in acting capacity as the CECPC Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, is currently in Dubai on health grounds.
When asked to clarify his new capacity on the committee, Bello said “Acting Chairman. I have been acting for a while since the Chairman travelled.”
On reports about the purported sack of Mai Mala Buni as Chairman, he replied, “No comment.”
Some APC members on Monday told SaharaReporters that President Buhari did not direct Bello to replace the Yobe governor who is currently on a medical trip in Dubai.
“President Buhari hasn’t sacked Mai Mala Buni as APC CECPC Chairman and replaced him with His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello as Sole Administrator as being reported.
“What actually happened was that the governor has been in Dubai for weeks now for medical care; so other members of the committee came together and choose Bello to act on his behalf being a governor and most senior Northerner in the committee.
“I won’t deceive you as well; a coup was planned for Buni but he survived. The cabals made up of Muhammad Badaru, Jigawa governor; Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor and Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi governor have turned their backs on him.
“We were told the cabals led by El- Rufai approached the President with an allegation that Buni plotted to remain beyond the March 26 national convention date.
“They premised their decision on a court order obtained by a member of the APC, Salisu Umoru, restraining the Buni-led CECPC and the APC from conducting its national convention until some questions before the court were answered.
“But we learnt that the cabals were aware of the lawsuit, it was originally instituted by their loyalist. The truth is that they aren’t in good terms with Buni. What happened I can’t say. Seems they wanted him to marginalise some members of the party in the scheme of things but he refused.”
The source added that some of the cabals were eyeing vice presidency seat come 2023.
“They have perfected their plans to achieve this by controlling the party at its highest level, which made them to see Buni as a stumbling block; hence the need to remove him from office. You know Buni is a threat to them, seems he has an ambition too,” he added.
Reacting, Steven Deegbara, a member of the APC National convention Planning Committee said, “Governor Sani Bello of Niger State is a member of APC CECPC where Mai Mala Buni is Chairman.”
“It is believed that as of Monday morning, the President who left the country on Sunday had to change his mind after some governors on the platform of the party prevailed on him not to allow selfish interests by any individual to destroy the party. But the cabal went ahead to push the story of Buni’s removal,” another source told SaharaReporters.