The crisis of leadership in the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has on Monday taken a new turn for the worse, following the decision of one of the support groups in the party, the Progressive Youth Movement PYM to sack the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.
Consequently, the movement named its leader, Prince Mustapha Audu as Chairman of the new CECPC with a mandate to conduct the party’s national convention on February 26.
The youths also named Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila into the new CECPC as representatives of the National Assembly.
However, Governor Buni immediately fired back, asking for the arrest of Audu and his co-travellers for treasonable felony.
Mustapha Audu is the son of a former governor of Kogi state and late chieftain of the party, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Since it came into power in 2015, the APC has always broken into factions ahead of the general elections.
In July 2018, less than a year to the 2019 general election, a group led by the former Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change CPC, Buba Galadima had broken away from the party to form what was then known as the Reformes-APC.
At a news conference Monday in Abuja, the new Chairman of the CECPC, Prince Mustapha Audu said his group was out to rescue the party from imminent collapse and hence the decision to sack Buni from his position in the APC leadership.
“Today we are here to inaugurate the PYM – CECPC. These young men and women of noble repute have been carefully selected and mandated by all the well-meaning young stakeholders of our great party, the APC, to plan and execute our convention before the end of February 2022,” he said.
Audu, who also inaugurated reconciliatory and advisory committees to interface with aggrieved stakeholders and resolve all issues, added that his group would use all available legal means to chase the Governor Buni Committee out of the “Buhari House”, national secretariat of the party.
He said; “We are aware of the plethora of issues within the party. Our party has had a history of shying away from true reconciliation and in many cases, inflicting chastisement on members that should have been rewarded for their effort towards building the APC.
“We will also be setting up a reconciliatory committee to help reconcile aggrieved members within the party.
“It is clear that in the last couple of years, the party has been on a regressive course and it is necessary for all well-meaning party members, to roll up our sleeves and do the needful to ensure that we correct the mistakes that have been made, to ensure victory in 2023 for all stakeholders.
Other committee members inaugurated include: Vice Chair North, Tukur Tukur Buratai; Vice Chair South, Busayo Akinnadeju; South West Representative, Hon Omowunmi Ogungbaibi; South East Representative, Barr Nonso Nwaebili and South South Representative, Prince Godswill Edward.
North Central Representative, Dr Ibrahim Abdul; North East Representative, Hon Ibrahim A. Waziri; North West Representative, Bello Bala Shagari; Senate Representative, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan; House of Representative, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Physically Challenged, Sajo Xcarfini were also inaugurated.
Buni while rejecting his sack in a statement by the secretary of the CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe described members of the group as impostors as they are not registered members of the APC.
He said; “We have received several enquiries from the media and concerned APC members on the felonious activities of a purported group parading themselves as ‘Progressive Youth Movement’.
“The purported group and membership are unknown to the Party, its structure or as a registered support group. Hence, we completely disown them and cannot account for their activities or join issues with them.
“However laughable, the criminal attempt of the purported group to usurp the leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC now bothers on treasonable felony. Relevant security bodies must now check and address their unscrupulous activities.
“The attention the purported group seeks will not be given to them by the party. We can only advise that the general public completely disregard them. Members of this group are not registered members of the APC and are being used by opposition elements and fifth columnists to cause confusion.
“As widely reported, the successful meeting between the APC leadership, Progressive Governors’ Forum and the President produced February 2022 as the timeframe for the Party’s National Convention. Our focus now is preparing the grounds for a rancour-free exercise.”