Politics

APC crisis: Group expels Gov. Bello, declares ‘Buni still national chairman’

By Yemi Itodo

As the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) reaches the roof stage, a formidable youth group of the party, the APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum (APC-YDSF), on Monday, recommended the expulsion of Gov. Abubakar Bello from the party.

At an emergency press briefing in Abuja, the group’s national secretary, Comrade Tobias Ogbeh, also declared that Gov. Mai Buni of Yobe State remained the legitimate and substantial National Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party.

The group faulted the media report Monday morning, that President Muhammad Buhari may have sacked Gov. Buni as the CECPC Chairman and appointed Gov. Bello in acting capacity, saying, such move was “antidemocratic” and capable of destroying the party.

The group, consequently, called on the Council Ward of Gov. Bello in Niger State and the National Executive Council (NEC) of APC, to immediately perfect his expulsion from the party.

The statement read in full:

“Gentlemen of the press, we invited you here today in response to a front-page publication by Thisday Newspaper with the headline “In Dramatic Move, Buhari Orders Buni’s Removal as Malami, SGF, Urge Caution”. His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni is the chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC), which means he is the one that some unscrupulous people are attempting to remove with the fiat of hearsay.

We say hearsay because the story said “President Muhammadu Buhari, has allegedly approved the removal of the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party and in his stead, appointed his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Sani Bello.”

You will agree with us that there is no written directive to this effect, and we say this with reason. One is that the people behind this charade had all the chance to get a written document announcing Buni’s removal from the president and they decided to go by way of the allegation. After all, the same Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, was able to browbeat Mr. President into endorsing certain documents purportedly endorsing some individuals for the National Working Committee of the party.

We want to place our record the sense of disappointment we feel that Governor Abubakar Bello lent himself for use as an agent for destabilization of the APC when this same party has been pivotal to his political growth as an individual. It is this party that made him governor today.

APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum categorically re-state that President Muhammadu Buhari, without a meeting of the CECPC, has no right to order the removal of Buni or any member of the CECPC who in the first instance is a product of a collective decision of the party’s NEC meeting held in Abuja sometimes ago.

Before now, there has been a lot of signs that there are people within the APC that are out to sabotage the party. The existence of such people was not proven at that time hence the inability to address the threat they constituted to the party. But with developments in the last one week, we now have a clearer picture of what we are dealing with. We have been able to establish that the people we are dealing with are incapable of remorse and have to capacity for contrition even when pressured to rethink and jettison their anti-democratic choices.

We invite Nigerians to note that what Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and the group he is working for have done amounted to staging a coup, which is contrary to known democratic tenets. He has shown utmost disregard for the constitution of the party. Today, they have done it in the APC, tomorrow there is no saying what they will try to use the name and office of the president for.

The APC is a party of democrats, people who believe in the rule of law, due process, and respect for constituted authority. These attributes are the benchmarks we have applied to the action of Governor Bello, and he fell short on all counts. You will agree with us that such behavior must be discouraged as a matter of setting examples.

Consequently, we hereby expel the Niger State Governor, His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello from the All Progressive Congress (APC) for violating the constitution of the APC, sabotaging the party, undermining the party’s leadership, and engaging in acts capable of breaching the peace and security of Nigeria. His ward in Niger state has been contacted to effect his expulsion and escalate same through the various layers to the national level as a matter of procedure.

Governor Bello is consequently warned to stop parading himself as Sole Administrator of APC and must in no way interfere with the functioning of His Excellency Mai Mala Buni and the Caretaker which is already in place to conduct the elective national convention of the party.

We call on the NEC of our great party to immediately meet and issue a strong statement endorsing the expulsion of Governor Bello and to put other rebellious party members and leaders on notice that the same treatment awaits them if they do not halt engaging in acts that undermine the party”.

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