Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai last night explained why the All Progressives Congress (APC) caretaker chairman had to be pushed aside.
According to him, certain actions and inactions of Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni put the ruling party at risk because they were a hindrance to the plan to hold the convention on March 26.
El-Rufai, who spoke on a Channels Television programme, said he had the authority of Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu to explain the action that led to the appointment of Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello as acting chairman of APC.
He said 19 of the 23 governors elected on the ticket of the party were on same page on the mission to prevent the party from collapsing. He did not name the four governors that are not with them.
El-Rufai said the governors met with President Buhari on Sunday, shortly before his London trip to obtain his approval for the plan to proceed with preparations for the convention and to hold a NEC meeting to ratify critical decision ons way the forward.
He confirmed that an injunction has been obtained following a request from the court by a party member to the effect that the party should not hold its convention until his grievances have been addressed.
El-Rufai, who said Buni was aware and neither informed the party nor did anything on it, said efforts had commenced now to vacate the injunction which he described as “a weapon of mass destruction”, planned to use to scuttle the convention.
He said the fate of caretaker secretary James Akpanudoedehe had been decided after he refused to take instruction from acting Chairman Bello who took over on Monday.
El-Rufai said: “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. 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.
“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.”
Asked if their action was constitutional, El-Rufai said: “We had to intervene when we saw that the party was drifting and we are happy and satisfied with our action, though some didn’t want the party to progress.
“It is unfortunate that some politicians’ ambition was putting the party at risk and the President was not happy when he heard about the sinister motive.
“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.”
On the secretary, he said: “The CECCP has taken action on the secretary and I believe that whatever they do is done in accordance with the law.
“We want to send the message to everyone that the party is no longer at risk and we are already reaching out to all sides and camps within the party.
I won’t allow anyone steal my votes this time – Adeleke
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 16 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has warned against any attempt to manipulate the poll.
Adeleke alleged that he was rigged out in the 2018 governorship election and told anyone planning to rig the poll not to play with the resolve of Osun people that were seeking change in government.
The ex-federal lawmaker, who said he had spoken with members of his party to eschew violence, added that he would not sit back and watch while people attempted to steal votes.
He said, “We have spoken with our members. We want peace. We are not out to fight anyone or cause trouble, but we will not stay idle or watch and appear helpless when people attempt to steal votes. We will stop them.
“Unlike what happened four years ago, I will not allow anyone steal my votes and that of the PDP. We all saw what happened four years ago, when angels of darkness colluded with some anti-democratic forces to upturn the desire of the good people of Osun State.
“We have warned them not to play with the resolve of the people of Osun State who are genuinely seeking and praying for the election day to come so that they can heave a sigh of relieve from their current unpalatable government.”
Asked about the rancour in the Osun PDP, Adeleke said, “It is a family affair. We are not fighting. We initially disagreed when we were seeking the party’s ticket. That has been settled by the delegates and the court has also stamped their decision. Everyone that contested wants the PDP to win the election. We will do so together and I am sure they are all working with us to achieve positive result.”
But while reacting to the PDP candidate’s claims, Media Adviser to the chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Osun, Kola Olabisi, said Adeleke’s claim that the 2018 governorship election was rigged by the ruling APC was tantamount to rubbishing Supreme Court which had upheld the ruling party’s victory.
Olabisi said, “No discerning mind will take any outburst from the embattled Senator Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke with seriousness because of his unenviable past records.
“One can understand why it is pretty impossible and difficult for him to comprehend the fact that once the Supreme Court of Nigeria has made a verdict on an issue, it is settled once and for all. Jackson won’t know this because of his limited education or absolute lack of same.
“Referring to the 2018 Osun State governorship election by any entity as being rigged by Governor Oyetola is tantamount to rubbishing the highest court in the land with impunity. If Ademola is insisting that he won the 2018 governorship election, why has he not been the four-year tenant of the Bola Ige House? Ademola Adeleke is only ranting. He should be ignored.”
Confusion as APC clears Attorney-General, Malami for election, despite withdrawing from governorship race
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has been cleared by the screening committee of the All Progressives Congress to contest the 2023 Kebbi governorship election.
This is despite Malami’s withdrawal from the governorship race last week Friday.
Malami, who declared interest to contest in the Kebbi governorship race last month, pulled out of the race for fear that he might not get the ticket.
Fearing that he might not get the ticket under the current circumstances, Malami was said to have changed his plan and pulled out of the governorship race.
However, a document seen by Peoples Gazette conveyed Malami’s clearance to run, stirring controversy in the political sphere since the AGF had already withdrawn his governorship ambition, in order to retain his ministerial appointment.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week issued a directive ordering all political appointees to resign before contesting in the forthcoming general elections.
It is unclear if Malami had turned in his resignation to pursue his political quest in compliance with Buhari’s directive or if he was waiting for the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the contentious section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
A series of political appointees have sparked public outrage after they went against political norms to seek elective positions without resigning.
Also, there has been a cold political war between the incumbent governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, and the political arrowhead of Kebbi, Senator Adamu Aliero, over who succeeds the former.
While Bagudu, who chairs the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), is rooting for Malami as his successor, Aliero, a two-term governor of the state, has Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi as his preferred candidate for the APC governorship ticket.
PHOTOS: Ganduje removes Kwankwaso red cap from supporter’s head, replaces it with Tinubu’s cap
Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State on Wednesday taunted his predecessor in office, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The governor removed Kwankwaso red cap from one of the former governor’s strong supporter who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The red cap is a symbol of Kwankwaso’s political movement, Kwankwasiyya Movement.
Yusuf Ibrahim Sharada , an aspirant for House of Representatives for Kano Municipal, who just decamped to APC had visited Ganduje at Government House, Kano.
While receiving Sharada , Ganduje removed his red cap and held it with his mouth before replacing it with a cap with an insignia popularised by Bola Tinubu.
Ganduje is a strong advocate of the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
The Ganduje and Kwankwaso parted ways, politically, in 2015, following alleged insistence of Kwankwaso to control the government of Ganduje.
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