The fresh crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken a new dimension as Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State who is the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party is set to step down from the saddle, Daily Independent has exclusively gathered.
Buni was appointed the chairman of the caretaker committee in June after the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party based on recommendations from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NEC also said the Buni-led caretaker committee will run the affairs of the party pending when it elects new officials.
However, Buni, who was the National Secretary of the APC before his election as Yobe State governor in 2019 general elections, has faced barrage of criticisms from within the party as many view his appointment as a clear violation of the APC constitution which forbids officers of the party from holding any executive position in government.
Section 4 under article 17 reads: “No officer in any organ of the party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently.”
Also, some APC members had claimed that Buni’s appointment is a huge distraction as he spends all his time in Abuja while Yobe where he was elected governor is one of the three states most affected by the Boko Haram menace.
Few days ago, stakeholders in the APC in Yobe State demanded the impeachment of Governor Buni by the state House of Assembly if he fails to resign.
The APC stakeholders premised their demand on the governor’s alleged “unavailability in the state to discharge his constitutional duties as governor of Yobe State.”
They said Buni “has abandoned the state completely and only visits once in a month.”
The Chairman, Yobe APC Stakeholders, Hussain Muhammad, made the demand in a statement issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja.
According to him, it has become expedient to draw the attention of the public, especially the state House of Assembly, to the aberration of having a governor “who is non-functional.”
The stakeholders said Buni was not elected as the APC national chairman, but as Yobe State governor and he swore to obey the constitution, adding that it was their position that he had become a self-serving governor, who failed and betrayed his people when they needed him the most.
“Individually and collectively, we have committed our lives to the service of our great state and nation in different capacities in the past, but we are concerned about the developments in the state under the current administration,” they said.
Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, a member of the Caretaker Committee who spoke on condition of anonymity said contrary to insinuations that Governor Buni is working behind the scene to extend the tenure of the committee, the governor is contemplating stepping down so as to return to his duty post in Yobe State.
He, however, said some major stakeholders in the party who are impressed with the achievements recorded by the committee since assumption of office are talking to him to have a change of mind and continue his role until a national convention is held and a new leadership is elected.
“I can tell you that there is no iota of the truth that the APC caretaker committee is scheming to extend their tenure in office. In fact, the governor of Yobe State who is the chairman of the Caretaker Committee has said he wants to return to Yobe State to face squarely his duty as the chief security officer of the state.
“If the committee cannot conduct a national convention now, it is because it is still busy with resolution of crisis in various state chapters of the party.
“The committee has also said right now, its focus is on achieving and sustaining true and lasting unity, peace and reconciliation across party ranks, ahead of the planned national convention of the party.
“The governor and other members of the committee are not jobless people who are enjoying certain perks that will make them want to extend their tenure. What they are doing is nothing but sacrifice for the APC and they should be appreciated for that”, he said.
Also speaking with Daily Independent, Rotimi Fashakin, a chieftain of the party, said rumours that the Caretaker Committee is illegally working to extend their tenure is false.
Fashakin, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), said rather than cast aspersions on them, the Buni-led committee should be commended for what it has done in reconciling party members and securing victory for the party in the just concluded Ondo governorship elections.
“I don’t know where people are getting that rumour from that the caretaker committee are trying to extend their tenure. They came in through a very unusual process. It is important that we allow them to do some work and do a thorough job so that we can have a better party.
“The party has been able to have some respite from the usual turbulence that we all witnessed in the Victor Giadom-led era. We now have relative peace. We have one of our governors returned elected, that is Governor Rotimi Akeredolu under the tenure of the caretaker committee. So, we should make haste slowly and allow them deliver on their mandate”, he said.