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APC crisis: Buni remains Chairman, National Convention will hold as scheduled – Gov. Bello

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted that the party will conduct its National Convention on March 26 as scheduled.

The party youth representative and spokesperson of the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed stated this at a media briefing on Friday in Abuja.

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The reaction followed a leaked letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rejecting the invitation to the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party on the ground that the notice for the meeting did not get to the Electoral body on time.

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The Bello-led CECPC had on Wednesday, March 8 written to the electoral body inviting it to the emergency NEC meeting of the party.

With reference to Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission, in a letter dated March 9, had asked the party to send its notice for the convention as stipulated by the Act.

The section states that political parties should send to INEC “notice of any convention, congress, conference, or meeting convened for the purpose of merger and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any elective office” at least 21 days before any of the events. This means the party ought to have sent the said notice latest by March 5.

However, the party, in its reaction to this, insisted that it has not breached any law as suggested by the electoral body.

Mr Ahmed said the party does not need to issue “another 21 days” notice to INEC before holding its convention as suggested by the commission.

Reacting to the controversy surrounding the removal of Governor Mai Mala Buni as the Chairman of CECPC, Barr. Ismaeel said, “somebody asked, what is the position of Governor Mai Mala Buni in the party, I think it’s pretty simple. I don’t know why this is a complicated process for a lot of people not to understand. Since the inception of this CECPC on June 25, 2020, whenever the chairman is not around and Governor Sani Bello is around, he acts on behalf of all as the Chairman.

“It has always been the case that has never changed. It has always been the case. Now, we have a Convention on March 26. The chairman wrote a letter and transmitted power to Governor Bello to enable him go for medical treatment. Those are two emergencies. He has a medical emergency, that cannot wait for Convention. We have a Convention that cannot wait for him to be healthy.

“So, one has to leave for the other, whichever, he has transmitted a letter and Governor Sani Bello has been acting appropriately. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that? Why is it so difficult for people to simply understand? I cannot understand why people are making this allegation.

“So, Governor Sani Bello is acting the full authority of the Caretaker Committee and with the full authority of the stakeholders and with the full consent of Governor Mai Mala Buni. It is very clear and simple. If anybody has issues with any of our decisions, he can head to court. For now, we are doing it with the full backing of the law. So, there is no ambiguity on this, absolutely none” he added.

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