I’m still APC chairman, Gov Buni boasts

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Against reports of his sack by President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All progressives Congress, Governor Mai Mala Buni, has insisted that he is still in charge of the party.

He described reports to the contrary as ‘fake news’.

The governor made the declaration in a fresh statement issued from the United Arab Emirate (UAE) where he is currently on sick leave.

The statement read; “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.

“We urge our teeming supporters, members and indeed the general public to remain calm and support the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC CECPC conduct a rancour-free and credible National Convention deserving of our great party”.

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There were reports Monday morning that President Buhari may have sanctioned the sack of Governor Buni on Sunday night before departing the country for London.

It the same vein, it was gathered that Governor Buni intends to return as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the APC once he returns from his medical leave.

The letter dated February 28, 2022, which was sighted by FirstNews was reportedly sent to Governor Sani Bello of Niger State and other members of the caretaker committee before his departure.

In the letter, Buni willingly transmitted power to Bello.

The letter read in part, “This is to inform you that I will be embarking on a medical trip to the United Arab Emirates from today, February 28, 2022. I will resume office upon my discharge from the hospital.

“In my absence, I hereby transmit the functions of my office as the National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to you. This is to enable the committee to conclude all arrangements leading to the national convention slated for March 26, 2022, and other duties that may be required of the office.

“I invite all members to cooperate with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello by extending to him all the support that I have enjoyed from you.”

But Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, said to be from Bello’s camp, had on Wednesday stated that although Buni willingly transmitted power to Bello, they soon discovered that Buni’s committee had no plan of conducting the March 26 convention.

el-Rufai alleged that Buni was making secret moves to postpone it on the strength of a court injunction.

el-Rufai also said President Muhammadu Buhari was informed of this and he swiftly ordered that Bello take over the affairs of the party permanently.

The governor said Buni would not return as chairman of the caretaker committee, adding that at least 19 governors were in support of Bello.