Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has confirmed the removal of his Yobe counterpart, Mai Buni, as the chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Mr Buni who is receiving medical treatment abroad was reportedly booted out and replaced with Niger governor, Abubakar Bello. The APC scribe denied being sacked, maintaining he was in charge of the ruling party in a statement signed by Senator John Akpanudoedehe, the party’s spokesman, who appears also to have been sidelined.
Mr Bello has since been piloting the affairs of the party. He swore in the controversial elected state chairmen of the party on Monday and on Wednesday he inaugurated sub-committees for the APC convention.
Explaining why the Yobe State helmsman was removed, Mr El-rufai confirmed earlier speculations that the ousted party scribe had secured a court order to prevent the national convention rescheduled for March 26 from taking place.
He said 19 out of 23 state governors of the APC gave their approval for the removal of Mr Buni, refusing to name the opposing four governors.
“We got a wind of a court process wherein an order had been gotten directing that the convention should not be held until the determination of the case,” the Kaduna governor explained on Wednesday night on Channels TV. “And it was unfortunate that, our lawyer engaged by Buni-led committee agreed with this in court. If this remains, how can the convention be done?
“We got signals that there were some elements in the party that were bent on scuttling the proposed March 26 convention.
“And if we miss that date, the following Saturday, will be Ramadan and that means we would not be able to have convention until after Ramadan. That means we would have lost another month according to INEC’s timetable.
“Based on this, we met with the president to discuss a number of issues with him like zoning formulae, which the president signed off on.
“We went the second time to inform the president that the zoning formula he signed off on had not been sent back to us.
“Instead, we were hearing about another list, which we knew was not from Mr. President.
Buhari approves removal
“The President agreed with us and directed that with immediate effect, Governor Buni must go and that Governor Bello should take over the headship of the party.
“The president directed that we must do everything possible to ensure the convention holds. I can tell you that Bello has the full backing of the president and at least 19 of the 23 APC governors. Then, you can see that since Monday that Bello took over, we have made a lot of progress.”
“I can confirm to you that Mai Mala has stepped aside and I can assure you that when he returns to the country, he will not assume any position.
“We do not have any personal disagreement with Mai Mala Buni, as he was also a victim of many of the intrigues that played out,” he added.