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APC Crisis Deepens as Buni’s Camp Takes Over Party Secretariat

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Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Tuesday, said the committee as led by Mai Mala Buni is still intact and that the Yobe governor is still the acting chairman of the party.

Akpanudoedehe’s remarks comes as loyalists of Buni, including him, took over the national secretariat of the ruling party on Tuesday in preparation for his return to the country.

Akpanudoedehe who has been away from the secretariat was on hand on Tuesday, accompanied by the Kogi state chairman of the party, Abdullahi Bello and some aides of Gov. Buni.

The national secretary who spoke in a statement on Tuesday, said Buni on the 28th day of February, took a long-delayed trip abroad on health grounds, leaving behind written authorisation for other members of the CECPC to continue work in his absence, particularly the day to day management of the APC.

Recall that on Monday last week, Niger State governor, Abubakar Sanni Bello took over the party’s national secretariat and declared self acting chairman of the caretaker committee, a development that many thought had marked the end of Buni’s reign.

But recent events suggest that the Yobe governor could be very much on his way to resuming his duties as the party’s caretaker chairman.

In the statement issued on behalf of the Buni led CECPC, Akpanudoedehe said Buni was determined to deliver a successful national convention on March 26, contrary to allegations that he is planning to scuttle it.

Clarifying the events of the past week, he said, “the CECPC was appointed, and has always done her best, to steer the affairs of the APC in line with the mandate invested in her at inauguration by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress.

“That on the 28th day of February, 2022 the CECPC Chairman took a long-delayed trip abroad on health grounds, leaving behind written authorisation for other members of the CECPC to continue work in his absence, particularly the day to day management of the APC.

“That in his absence, sundry activities earlier scheduled for action appeared to develop fresh urgency in order to satisfy the Timetable for the 2023 General Elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus galvanizing some within the CECPC to act in their best understanding of both the situation and the leadership dynamics in the Committee/Party.

“That all such actions were clearly identified at all times as happening in an acting or proxy capacity, and under the auspices of the substantive Chairman, His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni, contrary to widespread speculations that the Chairman, Secretary or some other officials of the CECPC have been removed from Office or otherwise replaced.

“That the CECPC is intact and functional as originally constituted.

“That delivering a seamlessly successful National Convention for the APC on March 26, 2022 is top on priority for the CECPC and we shall continue to execute such assignments as are legal pending the return of the Chairman who is on his way back to the country and shall resume Office on arrival with the full support of all members and other stakeholders.”

He thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) its firm guidance throughout the process, noting that the party has meanwhile, “engaged a team of senior lawyers to address a purported court order halting the planned APC National Convention. We hereby call on the Judiciary to give the matter the needed and expedient attention in our bid to vacate the purported Court order and allow for the conduct of a transparent and rancour-free National Convention deserving of our great party, APC.”

He said further that, “The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) hereby restates absolute loyalty to the APC, thanks the National Organs and leadership of our Party led by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and reassures our members and citizens that the Party is stronger than ever before and poised to extend her winning streak since 2015 into 2023 and beyond.”

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