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Buni not returning as acting APC Chairman, says el-Rufai

KADUNA State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, says the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, would not return as Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.

The governor, who stated this in a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved Buni’s removal shortly before he travelled to the United Kingdom for a routine medical check-up.

He also confirmed that there were plans by the Yobe governor’s supporters to scuttle the party’s national convention slated for March 26.

Buhari, according to him, had directed the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, to take over the party’s leadership.

The governor said: “Buni is gone, the Secretary is gone. Governor Bello is in charge and he has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and 19 governors. Buni can only return as Governor of Yobe State but never as chairman of our party.

“President Buhari ordered his removal and this has been implemented. Governor Bello has taken over and things are moving according to plan. The party will be restored and convention will take place as scheduled. The 19 governors and their deputies are solidly behind this move.

“Buni and his people got a court order to stop the convention but hid it.”

El Rufai boasted that APC would win the 2023 presidential election, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others cannot match the ruling party next year.

He added: “APC is still the party to beat. We are going to win the presidential election as well as the majority of the governorship seats.

“I think Nigerians expect much more than we have done but if Nigerians reflect deeply and compare with the other party, we are still a better choice. All the other parties cannot match us anywhere.”

Reports emerged on Monday that President had approved the removal of the Yobe governor over plans by some groups loyal to him to scuttle the party’s preparations for the national convention.

But Governor Bello dismissed the speculation when he was approached by journalists to confirm reports on his appointment as the party’s acting chairman.

He said: “I have been acting for a while since the chairman (Mai Mala Buni) travelled.”

The National Secretary of the party’s caretaker committee, John Akpanudoedehe, also dismissed reports on his resignation at a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.

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