Abubakar Sani Bello, governor of Niger state, has confirmed himself as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
Bello who spoke after he stormed the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Monday and presided over its caretaker committee meeting, said he had been serving as the party’s acting chairman “for a while now.”
When asked if he has taken charge of the party, he said, “Acting chairman, I have been acting for a while since the chairman travelled.”
When he was pressed further, he said: “No comment.”
Meanwhile, while at the APC secretariat on Monday, the governor posted an update on his facebook page describing himself as acting chairman of the party’s caretaker committee.
“APC: Governor of Niger State and Acting Chairman of APC CECPC, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello is currently presiding over a meeting of the Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC at the National Secretariat of the Party with the members of the committee,” The post read.
In another post on the facebook page, Bello said he received a report on the party’s zoning arrangement from the Chairman of the Committee and Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman who led other members of the committee, including DSP Ovie Omo Agege, to the secretariat.
“Acting Chairman of APC CECPC, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello receives the Report of the Party’s Zoning Committee from the Chairman of the Committee and Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman who led other members of the committee including DSP Ovie Omo Agege, Governors of Lagos, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Ogun, and Borno as well as Deputy Governor of Anambra State for the submission of the report of the committee,” the post read.
Governor Bello had arrived the national secretariat of the party and took over the affairs of the party as the new national caretaker committee chairman, in what seemed like a palace coup.
On arrival, he was cheered and referred to as ‘chairman’ by some party faithful, but he quickly entered into a closed-door meeting with some party chieftains.
The move is contrary to the position of secretary of the national caretaker committee, Senator James Akpan Udohedehe, who had earlier dismissed the reported removal of Governor Mai Mala Buni as fake news.
Akpanudoedehe denied any planned change of leadership in the party, describing it as fake news.
He stated in a statement earlier on Monday: “Our attention has been drawn to sponsored media reports on an imaginary leadership change in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).”
“The media report is fake news and should be disregarded. The APC is a progressive political party guided by rules. Leadership changes are not announced by ‘sources’ through name dropping in the media.