Confusion, Fear Reign In APC Over Leadership Crisis

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Palpable tension and confusion reigned at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abuja as contending forces fought over who was in charge of the leadership of the party.

Indicators of what to expect began to unfold as early as 8am when security agents took over and condone off the entire Blantyre Street, housing the national secretariat of the party. The security agents that had arrived with over 70 battle-ready personnel, barricaded the street, stopped and screened all human and vehicular movements into the secretariat. Members of staff, visitors and journalists that were allowed into the complex were equally thoroughly screened.

The arrival of the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello accompanied by the women representative in CECPC, Stella Okotete, the Youth Leader, Ismail Ahmed, David Lyon, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Senator Ali Abba, Sen. Ken Nnamani and Sen. Yusuf Yusuf, around 12 noon, further heightened the tension and anxiety.

Hailed by crowd of party supporters and staff, Governor Bello, earlier reported to have taken over the running of the party from the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni, presided over an emergency meeting held by the committee.

Shortly after the meeting by the Caretaker Committee and inauguration of the state chairmen, seven governors, comprising Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Abdulraman Abdulrazak (Kwara),  Babagana Zulum (Borno), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) had visited the secretariat in what Governor Bello described as show of solidarity.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Governor Bello, said though he had the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge of the party, he cannot confirm whether the Yobe governor had been shoved aside completely.

Announcing that the presence of the state chairmen that came for inauguration was responsible for the rowdy situation at the secretariat, Governor Bello claimed that he was just acting on Buni’s behalf.

On the rowdy situation, he said: “Every time there is a major event, we beef up security. Today, we have a major event and all the chairmen came in. And they are to maintain law and order.”

Asked how often he would be in charge, he said: “Almost everyday,” adding: “most of my colleague governors are here to support me to receive the report from the zoning committee. You know the zoning committee report is a very important one. And all the governors here are here to support me. Now, at zonal level, they can go and do their work. What is going on today, does it have the blessing of the president? “Of course.”

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Asked in what capacity he presided over the meeting and whether he had been confirmed as chairman, he said: “I have been acting for a while since the chairman traveled.  As for your question for me to confirm the news that I have been appointed to take over from Buni as the acting Chairman, I can only say that it is news and I don’t have comment.

“We are here because the states chairmen they took their Oath of Office today and we discussed progress made so far on convention and what needs to be done next so that we will achieve the March 26 date for Convention.”

Although the Secretary Caretaker Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, usually takes charge on behalf of Governor Buni, he was shoved aside during the entire proceedings.

A source close to the Yobe State governor confirmed to Daily Sun that although Buni is “not in Nigeria, he did the right thing by handing over to the CECPC secretary to pilot the affairs of the party in his absence.

“He actually transmitted power to the secretary. They can’t disprove that. But, that was where the problem arose.

“The governors were angry when they heard that the CECPC secretary had been in charge in Buni’s absence. They asked why he transferred power to the secretary when, in fact, he, Buni, could have handed over to one of the governors. That was the crux of the matter, as at last weekend…” the source disclosed.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the party had earlier dismissed the report of change in the leadership of the party, describing it as fake news.

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