APC crisis: Drama as Buhari shuts door on pro-Buni lobbyists


Access to President Muhammadu Buhari has been shut against those pleading that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni be allowed to complete its assignment.

It was learnt yesterday that President Buhari, who is on a two-week trip to the United Kingdom (UK) has shut out some pro-Buni governors and lobbyists.

The President was said to have been firm on his stand to effect minor changes in the CECPC.

According to plans, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting billed for next Thursday would be an hybrid (both physical and online) to enable the President to participate.

Sources said that the President was emphatic that CECPC Secretary Sen. John Akpanudoedehe must step aside with Buni.

But Akpanudoedehe was awaiting Buni’s arrival of before deciding on the resignation soft-landing given to him by the CECPC.

Buni, who was airborne from Dubai last night, might meet with some stakeholders, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, before making his position known.

He was said to have felt betrayed by some governors, including a Northwest governor who swore in Ka’aba to stand by him when they performed Umrah (Lesser Hajj) together during COVID-19.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said it has been difficult for the pro-Buni forces to reverse the President’s directives on the APC leadership.

The source said: “The President has shut out governors and lobbyists trying to reach out to him on Buni and Akpanudoedehe. These leaders have been desperate to speak with the President in London but they have failed. One of the governors was implicated in the court order obtained to stop the March 26 national convention.

“Their frustration became more visible because the alternative contact leader to the President is also in London. The President has made his trip only as private as possible and he is sticking to his directives.

”So, whoever doubts the regime change should not take any action to confront the President. The so-called 13 governors with Buni do not exist. We only know of three including one from the Northcentral, another from the Southeast and the last from the Southwest. The one from the South-West has been consistent in saying at the Progressive Governors Forum’s meeting that Buni should remain in charge of APC forever because of second term ticket.

“Before leaving Nigeria, Buhari had audience with governors very close to Buni and he was shocked by what they told him.

“Apart from SGF Mustapha and the Attorney-General of the Federation, the governors, who met with Buhari, were three from the Northwest, one from the Northcentral and one from the Southwest. They have been co-travellers with Buni.

“I think the SGF was mandated to brief Buni, who has been away for medical treatment.”

As at press time, it was gathered that Akpanudoedohe, some APC leaders and sympathisers were waiting for the Buni arrival.

Another source added: “Those supporting Buni have many options on the cards but his disposition today will define the way forward for APC.

“We learnt he said he will consult two people before making his position known. He saw it coming because at a recent meeting of the PGF, he was almost disgraced by his colleagues over the postponement of the convention without consultations.”