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APC Leadership Crisis: Buhari Wields The Big Stick, Orders Govs To Leave Buni Alone

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Ahead of the return of Yobe state Governor Mai Mala Buni to the country, Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari has read a riot act to governors elected on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform.

The warning came against the backdrop of the leadership crisis rocking the ruling party.

In very clear terms, the president directed the APC governors to “desist from any behaviour or utterance that will likely lead to disunity in the ranks of the party, and ultimately jeopardise the transition to the convention.”

These were the highlights of a letter, dated 16th March, 2022 and addressed to Kebbi state Governor and Chairman Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Atiku Bagudu, a copy of which was obtained by our Correspondent.

The letter was also copied to Chairman CECPC, Acting Chairman of the CECPC and Niger state Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello, Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) as well as the Inspector General of Police.

In what could be likened to wielding the big stick, the president said the multiplicity of cases currently rocking the party had the prospect of invalidating the activities and actions of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He said since the party could not change the leadership of the CECPC without infringing on the time limit set by INEC, and the fact that the current uncertainties and controversies “pose a real threat to the party,” the leadership of the CECPC should immediately return to status quo ante.

The letter reads in part: “As you are, no doubt aware, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is currently facing a litany of controversies and some level of uncertainties that may ultimately question its status and affect the status and feasibility of its proposed National Convention.

“In addition, it has come to my attention that, because of recent events, the APC is faced with a multiplicity of court cases pending against it in various courts across the country. As a result of this, the party faces the possibility and prospect of the invalidation of all its activities and actions by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Furthermore, the party has demonstrated its inability to proceed with the issue of effecting change in the leadership of its Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee (CECC), in a way that is inclusive, legal and respectful of the time limit set and required for giving the INEC sufficient notice of the time and venue for holding its convention.

“No doubt, these controversies and uncertainties, as enumerated above, pose a real threat to the party; and may lead to a possible non-recognition of its activities, elections and the probable invalidation of all its other actions by INEC. This may ultimately even lead its implosion and non-existence.

“There is, therefore, an urgent need for the party to, as much as possible, avoid all controversies, litigations and all other necessary distractions and quickly get its acts together.

“In view of the foregoing, therefore, I would like now to direct as follows: a. First, the issue of the leadership of the Caretaker Extra Ordinary Convention Committee (CECC), should immediately return to status quo ante; b. Second, all members of the Governors’ Forum and their followers should desist from any behaviour or utterance that will likely lead to disunity in the ranks of the party, and ultimately jeopardise the transition to the convention; c. Third, the Mai Mala Buni-led CECC should, accordingly, be allowed to proceed with all necessary preparations to hold the convention as planned- unfailingly, on 26t March, 2022.”

Party cancels NEC

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the cancellation of a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for today.

A statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by the national secretary of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, said the NEC meeting was cancelled as directed.

“As directed by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, H.E. Mai Mala Buni, a purported emergency meeting of the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) slated for Thursday, March 17, 2022 is hereby canceled.”

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