The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed reports of the removal of Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni, as its interim national chairman.
As reported by some media platforms, Mr Buni was sacked on Sunday night following allegations by members of the committee and APC governors that he has been working against the interest of the party.
Quoting unnamed sources, the reports also noted that Mr Buni’s dismissal was allegedly approved by President Muhammadu Buhari before leaving for London as he appointed Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, as a replacement.
While the reports of change in the party leadership linger, PREMIUM TIMES on Monday saw dozens of armed police officers stationed in strategic areas of the party national secretariat in Abuja.
The officers, who claimed to have been “invited to maintain law and order”, blocked the Blantyre Street in Wuse 2 where the APC headquarters is situated, and thereby denied passersby access to the route.
Journalists were also required to present their organisations’ identity cards before accessing the road leading to the secretariat entrance.
Reacting to the news, the APC, in a statement issued on Monday, said the report of Mr Buni’s was sponsored and should be disregarded.
“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,” the APC interim secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said.
Efforts to reach Mamman Mohammed, the media aide to Mr Buni were unsuccessful.
Presidential spokesperson, Shehu Garba, did not respond to telephone calls from this newspaper.
The spokesperson of the Niger State Governor, Mary Noel-Berje, she said she has no information in that regard.
“Since this story started flying around, he has been in continuous meetings and he is not out yet. In regard to this, I don’t have any information to corroborate that yet.
“When he leaves the meeting, we will put out comprehensive information in respect to the report you are talking about,” the governor’s spokesperson, Ms Noel-Berje said.
Meanwhile, at 11:54 a.m., Mr Bello arrived at the “Buhari House” APC National Secretariat, with his entourage.
When he arrived at the secretariat, the governor parked his official car in the position where Mr Buni parks.
At the time of filing this report, Mr Bello was in a meeting with state chairmen of the APC, who had arrived earlier.
It is not clear what the agenda of the meeting is. Two of the chairmen who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES but did not want to be quoted because they were not authorised to speak to the media, said they did not know details of their agenda for the day.
The Niger State Governor is one of the 12-member interim committee the party appointed in June 2020.
The Caretaker committee was appointed in June 2020 after the removal of the National Working Committee led by former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
The committee was given the mandate to organise a national convention in December that year but it has not been able to do so nearly two years after prompting allegations that it has a plan to remain in office.
Source: Premium Times