The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, appears unfazed by the agitation for the party’s national convention to be held in February as planned.
Despite allegations of an elongation plot against the APC CECPC, a senior member of the party told Nigerian in confidence that the team would not be stampeded to hold a national convention.
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In a letter to the Kebbi State governor and chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Director-General of the Forum of Governors on the party’s platform, Salihu Lukman, called for the removal of Mai Mala Buni and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe as chairman and national secretary, respectively, of the interim leadership of the party.
The DG of the Progressive Governors Forum, speaking at a summit organized by a group called APC Stakeholders Summit in Abuja on Tuesday with the theme “Rebuilding the APC of our Dream,” reiterated his lack of confidence in the APC CECPC leadership, accusing Governor Buni and Senator Akpanudoedehe of incompetence and lack of sincerity in conducting the national convention.
According to Nigerian reports, the PGF may meet today (Wednesday) to decide on the convention date ahead of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Despite expectations of a meeting of the Governor Buni-led caretaker team today, a senior member of the team confirmed that no meeting had been scheduled.
He stated that the leadership’s commitment was undeniable when it announced its intention to form subcommittees ahead of the convention to elect substantive national officers last December.
“Which meeting are you referring to?” he inquired. There will be no meeting today. The governors are the ones who are meeting. We will not call a meeting because the governors have requested one. We’re not going to let ourselves be stampeded.
“Every time we have a reason to move the convention date, it is at the request of the stakeholders, especially the governors.”
“We’re not going to start resolving conflicts with enraged chieftains.” We were not elected, but rather appointed.
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“All of the talk about Governor Buni seeking re-election as chairman or as vice president to any presidential candidate is false. But, as I previously stated, we will not allow enraged chieftains to drag us into public space.”
The source expressed confidence that the convention will take place as planned, despite doubts about its ability to stick to a schedule because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not yet been notified.
“We aren’t even halfway through February, so we still have time to give INEC the required 21 days.” “Just keep an eye on it,” he advised.
An aspirant, Sylvester Monidafe, warned members of the party to be wary of imposition of an anointed candidate under the guise of a consensus arrangement at the summit held at the Musa Yar’Adua International Conference Centre in Abuja.
He urged the gathered supporters of the party to be ready to fight the alleged plot.
“We will resist consensus,” he said. People should not sit in one spot and declare their support for a candidate. No, we will not accept it, and I hope the youths will not accept it as well.
“We’re not fighting anyone; we just want a better Nigeria, and that’s how we’ll get it.”
Salihu Mustapha, another chairmanship contender, appealed to APC chieftains to be patient and give the Governor Buni committee the benefit of the doubt because it had committed to a convention date.
He also warned against a media war that could make the ruling party’s main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party, laughable.
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Sani Musa, another chairmanship candidate and senator representing Niger East, promised to reposition the ruling party ahead of the next general elections in his goodwill message.
“As another election cycle approaches, we must not allow our country to regress. I’m introducing myself to help us complete our economic transformation.”