TheCable Special

EXCLUSIVE: How Buni plotted to scuttle APC convention — and remain party chairman

Author:
Dyepkazah Shibayan

Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe state and now-ousted chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caretaker committee, took steps to scuttle the party’s national convention scheduled for March 26, TheCable can report.

Amid the crisis in the ruling party over the national convention, Buni had held on tightly to the position of APC chairman.

TheCable had reported that his desire to stay in office nearly jeopardised plans for the national convention.

The Yobe governor has been feet-dragging on preparations and issues bordering on the convention.

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Unknown to members of the party, Buni and John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee, had hatched a plot to hold on to the control of the party.

TheCable understands that they used a third party to obtain a court order temporarily restraining the ruling party from holding its convention until a substantive suit has been heard and determined.

The suit, filed by one Salisu Umoru at the high court in the federal capital territory (FCT), had the APC and Buni as respondents.

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“That the 1st Defendant/Respondent can only conduct its national convention after the hearing and determination of the substantive suit pending before this honourable court,” the court order seen by TheCable reads.

“That in the interest of justice accelerated hearing of the substantive suit is hereby ordered.

“That this matter is hereby adjourned to the 10th day of January 2022 for hearing of the substantive suit at High Court No. 15, Kubwa, FCT-Abuja.”

BUHARI ASKS NIGER GOVERNOR TO REPLACE BUNI

TheCable understands that after learning of Buni’s ploy and the court order, President Muhammadu Buhari directed Abubakar Sani Bello, governor of Niger, to replace the Yobe governor who is currently on a medical trip in Dubai.

A highly-placed source disclosed that the president got to know about the court order a week ago.

“The president asked the Niger governor to replace Buni when he became aware of the document,” the source said.

“Buni and Akpanudoedehe who is the national secretary will have to vacate their offices immediately.”

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Speaking with reporters at the APC national secretariat in Abuja on Monday, Bello said he has been acting as the party’s chairman “for a while.”

BUNI OUT IN THE COLD?

TheCable understands that Buhari’s decision on Buni has set off a chain reaction resulting in the isolation of the Yobe state governor by his formerly-sympathetic colleagues.

Muhammad Badaru, Jigawa governor; Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor; Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi governor; and Yahaya Bello, Kogi governor, are believed to have turned their backs on Buni, another source said.

“Buni does not have anybody to speak for him now. The APC governors who supported him have taken sides with Mr President,” the source added.

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