The Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Saliu Moh. Lukman, has called for the resignation of the Chairman and Secretary of Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.
The DG of the platform of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, made the demand in a letter.
In the Open Letter on Friday, Lukman said Buni, the Governor of Yobe State, and Akpanudoedehe should resign for their failure to carry out the mandate given to them to conduct congresses from the Ward to National Level by President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC leadership.
He, however, said before this is done, the duo should be given the opportunity to explain their failure to carry out the mandate.
In the letter, copied to President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and the PGF, Lukman said: “As things are, if the APC National Convention is to hold February 5, 2022 as decided, by January 15, 2022, notice of the Convention must be transmitted to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by the Electoral Act. In which case, details of the agenda of the Convention and Venue should have been decided. If this is not the case, it should be taken that the CECPC chairman, Mala Buni and Secretary, Akpanudoedehe have decided not to implement the decision to hold the Convention on February 5, 2022.
“There is nowhere in APC Constitution or any law for that matter, that confer prerogative of whether an important decision such as holding the National Convention should hold or not on the party Chairman and Secretary. At best, if there are challenges, they should present the challenges to superior organs of the party.
“It may be necessary for party leaders to therefore consider convening emergency meeting of the National Caucus to review all these developments and perhaps give opportunity to the Chairman, Mala Buni and Secretary, Akpanudoedehe to explain whatever difficulty they may be having.
“It may also be necessary to appeal to both Mala Buni and Akpanudoedehe, in the event that superior organ of the party, possibly the National Caucus, is unable to meet before January 15, 2022, they should take the path of honour and honourably resign if by that date they have not concluded preparations for the Convention and appropriate notice to INEC duly served as required by the law.
“Should that be the case, Your Excellency, may again have to provide the leadership to facilitate consultations with President Buhari and all party leaders to choose necessary replacements from among members of the CECPC or in whatever way possible. Your Excellency, at this point, given experiences first with the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC and now with the His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC, there is the glaring issue of political leadership recruitment challenges, which if not resolved will continue to undermine the capacity to produce competent political leaders in the country.”
In the letter, also copied to the former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande; two former National Chairmen, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; and members of the CECPC, Lukman added: “As the Chairman of Forum, you had to take very difficult internal initiatives to unite Governors and party leaders.
“You were able to earn the confidence of President Buhari and party leaders based on your leadership ability to ensure that all Governors are united to support the work of the CECPC. Your Excellency, it would appear that both the CECPC Chairman, Mala Buni and Secretary, Akpanudoedehe are taking the support of the Forum for granted to the point of working to sabotage the decisions of holding the APC National Convention on February 5, 2022 based on the recommendations of Forum.
“This is a very dangerous trend. Some of the speculations as the reasons for that include the alleged ambition of Mala Buni to manipulate his emergence as the substantive National Chairman of the party. Ideally, there should be nothing wrong with this once he is able to satisfy the requirements of the law and the party’s Constitution. If true, however, the assumption that he will provide neutral leadership, which is required to guarantee level playing field that was the basis of vesting him with the responsibility of serving as the Chairman of CECPC has been eroded.
“Should it be confirmed that Mala Buni is aspiring to be the substantive National Chairman of APC, in whatever way possible, elementary logic required that he should be immediately replaced as Chairman of CECPC. This is further strengthened by the fact that being a serving Governor, he is disqualified to aspire to hold any position, which the law only permits him to hold on temporary basis.”