APC crisis gets messier as faction ‘nullifies’ Buni’s committee

The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened, yesterday, following the emergence of a factional Caretaker Committee of the party led by Prince Mustapha Audu and the purported disbandment of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) by one of the support groups in the party, the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM).

This is coming one week after the PYM met in Kaduna State and passed a vote of no confidence on the Buni-led CECPC, asking the caretaker committee to vacate office.

The youth group had at the town hall meeting themed, ‘Ready to lead, now or never,’ which attracted youths from the Northwest geo-political zone at the Murtala Square, Kaduna, noted that the caretaker committee had overstayed its welcome to conduct a national convention for the party.

Buni, the Yobe State governor, was appointed chairman of the CECPC in June 2020 following the crisis that led to the exit of the party’s former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

The new CECPC has given itself a mandate to conduct the party’s national convention on February 26.

The party’s national secretariat has been under heavy security in recent weeks after party leaders said there were intelligence reports of a planned forceful takeover.

Audu immediately formed a National Reconciliation Committee, chaired by Mr Hassan Saddiq Arivi, to reconcile aggrieved members before its slated February 26, 2021 convention.

Audu, while charging the youthful factional caretaker committee to carry out their duties with all integrity and honour, also announced a zoning formula for positions in the new National Working Committee (NWC) for its February 26 national convention of the party.

However, Governor Buni immediately fired back, asking for the arrest of Audu and his co-travellers for treasonable felony. Mustapha is the son of a former governor of Kogi and a late chieftain of the party, Prince Abubakar Audu.

The CECPC’s secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, dismissed the action as “the felonious activities of a purported group.”

The scribe’s statement said they are unknown to the party, its structure or as a registered support group and are therefore non-existent.

“However laughable, the criminal attempt of the purported group to usurp the leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC now bothers on treasonable felony.

“Relevant security bodies must now check and address their unscrupulous activities. The attention the purported group seeks will not be given to them by the party.

“We can only advise that the general public completely disregard them. They are not registered members of the APC and are being used by opposition elements and fifth columnists to cause confusion.

AUDU, who spoke during the inaugural meeting of the group in Abuja, explained that the sack of the Buni-led committee was aimed at correcting the ills in the party.

Justifying their emergence, he said: “We are aware of the plethora of issues within the party, our party has had a history of shying away from true reconciliation and in many cases inflicting chastisement on members that should have been rewarded for their effort towards building the APC.

“It is clear that in the last couple of years, the party has been on a regressive course and it is necessary for all well-meaning party members to roll up our sleeves and do the needful to ensure that we correct the mistakes that have been made to ensure victory in 2023 for all stakeholders.

“As we move closer to the election year, let us join hands and strengthen internal democracy in our party and show Nigerians that we have what it takes and we deserve their votes in 2023.”

Members of the factional caretaker committee are: Chairman, Prince Mustapha Audu; Vice Chairmain North, Tukur Tukur Buratai; Vice Chairman South, Busayo Akinnadeju; Southwest representative, Omowunmi Ogungbaibi; Southeast representative, Nonso Nwaebili; South-South representative, Prince Godswill Edward; North-central representative, Dr Ibrahim Abdul; Northeast representative, Ibrahim A Waziri; and Northwest representative, Bello Bala Shagari.

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