By Yemi Itodo
Thirteen governors elected on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) are set on a collision course with their remaining counterparts in the party as they insist that Yobe State Governor, Mai mala Buni retains his role as the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
The governors also threatened to abandon the broom party, if the decision taken at the National Executive Council of APC in 2020 that Buni should head the party until the national convention is held, is not respected by President Muhammad Buhari and other members of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).
Internal wrangling in the party came to a boil on Monday with a faction of the APC governors claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari has named Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello as Buni’s replacement to head the CECPC.
Our reporter gathered that the 13 governors, who met in Abuja Monday night, contemplated leaving the APC for another political party as their future would be uncertain in their current party if what they described as “the ongoing illegality is allowed to stand”.
Another option on the table, which is being seriously weighed by the Governors is teaming up with the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) as three of them defected to the APC from PDP.
The governors are reportedly upset with the way their colleagues in the “cabal” are belittling them in the decision-making of the party after first losing out on the fixing of a date for APC’s national convention and are now facing further humiliation with the attempted imposition of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, as the CECPC chairman.
One of the Governors from the northeast geo-political zone protested that, “The cabal formed by our other colleagues has suffocated the life out of APC. The party has been reduced to the equivalent of a ..gang where decisions are now based on who can manipulate President (Muhammadu) Buhari better.
“Even if APC governors were constituted into a kind of electoral college to make decisions for the party, which is not the case, there is no way seven is greater than thirteen. When you have only seven governors forcing their decision on thirteen governors of equal jurisdiction then you know there is a problem.
“So, what we are saying is that we are ready for them. We are not saying that Mai mala Buni should not stop being the Chairman of CECPC, but our point is that there must be due process. There is the proper way to go about it, not some character sneaking to the President to snitch in the dark of the night and then come out throwing the President’s name around.
“If they want us to fall out with them as fellow APC Governors then we are ready. But this thing about being dictatorial must stop. It is a democracy, and the APC must run as a democracy. Or else there is no example we are showing anybody as leaders”.
Meanwhile, the 13 governors had their various Attorneys General write legal opinions on the illegality of what happened at the party’s secretariat on Monday.
Though Governor Bello has maintained that he was only acting as Chairman, since Buni was yet to return from his Dubia medical leave.
But with the inauguration of state chapter’s chairmen and reception of zoning committee report by Bello on Monday, pundits pointed to the fact that he was playing a script written by the seven governors, on behalf of Buhari.
The Presidency is yet to make any official statement on the status of Governor Bello and the fate of Buni.