Drama as Akpanudoedehe leaves committee meeting

There was drama yesterday at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party’s Acting Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) National Secretary John James Akpanudoedehe angrily left the meeting of the committee chaired by the party’s acting national president and Governor of the State of Niger, Abubakar Sani Bello.

Sani-Bello has been presiding over party affairs since Monday when he said he was now the party’s acting president in the absence of the president, Mai Mala Buni, who is abroad.

LEADERSHIP understood that Akpanudoedehe who angrily left the meeting midway over a disagreement with Governor Sani Bello had kicked out of the secretariat before returning to move some of his belongings from his office.

“The national secretary was obviously not happy when he left the meeting halfway. It’s as if they had a disagreement with the interim president who asked him to leave. He left the secretariat by car but returned shortly to collect his belongings from the office,” a source familiar with what happened during the meeting of the interim committee told our correspondent.

The development sparked media reports that Apkanudoedehe had resigned as the party’s national secretary.

When asked to confirm the alleged resignation of the party secretary while briefing reporters after the meeting, Governor Bello simply replied, “Ask him.”

The governor who confirmed that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting will be held next week said yesterday’s meeting was a continuation of Monday’s meeting and said, “It is a continuation of the meeting yesterday. And just know that you’re not going to ask me the same thing tomorrow because we’re gonna see each other every day until convention so we can put things together.

“Basically today we looked at the convention subcommittee and we’ve taken some of the reports from the committee and hopefully tomorrow we’ll decide what next step to take.”

Regarding the report of the zoning committee presented by its chairman on Monday, Bello said: “The zoning formula report has been submitted and adopted and it will be published at any time. I mean the zoning formula.

Meanwhile, it became clearer that all was not well with the APC’s leadership when the party issued a statement last night in reaction to the court ruling sacking leader David Umahi as governor of the Ebonyi State.

The statement was signed by the party’s publicity director, Salisu Na’inna Dambata, instead of Akpanudoedehe who usually signs party waivers in his capacity as national secretary.

We will leave if PMB asks us to go – Akpanudoedehe

Meanwhile, APC National Secretary Akpanudoedehe quickly returned to the party secretariat after his resignation was announced, saying that only official notification from President Muhammadu Buhari could justify his removal and that of the National President, the Governor Mai Mala Buni.

Speaking to reporters from the party’s national secretariat, he said, “I’m waiting for the president (Buni). If we have a directive from the president to resign, we are not greater than the president; we will if we hear of him. Someone can’t say “going to announce that he is resigning”. As MKO Abiola used to say, you don’t shave someone’s head in their absence. So we have done so much.

Akpanudoedehe said that if he had resigned, his resignation letter would have been in the public domain, adding that it was not the first time the APC had witnessed a power play.

He said: “I read on social media that I have resigned as APC secretary. I want to say that it is not true that I resigned. If I had resigned, you would have seen my resignation letter written by me. Someone cannot just say someone is dead when they are alive.

“I am not bigger than the party, nor bigger than the president who is the leader of the country. I await the return of my National President.

“We have done so much for this party. When we inherited this party, if you remember, it was at its lowest. We’ve built the party and reclaimed quite a bit of land. We were able to register 41 million members. And we bought this party secretariat.

“We were able to recover what we lost. We have lost and brought many governors. All the states we lost, we brought them back in two weeks. We were able to tour this country and the constitution which was a difficult thing to do, we did it in less than a year.

“We’ve done reconciliation, wards, local governments and state conventions and we’re about to do the national convention. This isn’t the first time you’ve witnessed a power play. »

APC senators move to save the party

Meanwhile, amid the crisis rocking the CPA, senators elected to the party platform gathered after the Senate plenary yesterday in a bid to save the party from impending disarray.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting which lasted about two hours at the National Assembly complex, the leader of the Senate and chairman of the APC caucus, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North), said that their immediate concern was to save the party from degenerating into serious national crisis.

“What concerns us is the apparent disarray within the party,” Abdullahi said.

According to him, the senators have resolved to serve as unifiers within the party in order to bring together all the different groups with vested interests.

He continued, “We are too worried about what is happening in our party and we have expressed our concern about the challenges the party is facing. Very close to its national congress and we believe as very important party players we want to get the attention of everyone involved to come together and unite so that we can have a very successful congress in the party.

“What is happening is about the future of our party and our government, as well as our party’s ability to win elections in 2023. We cannot afford to come to the convention as a divided entity. Wherever there are challenges that could cost the party its victory, it is a loss for everyone.

“So we decided to come together again to articulate the big issues and then meet with the various party stakeholders and aspirants to advise and call for unity and a sense of purpose to make sure we unite every faction, every stakeholder in the party, so that the party can emerge victorious in the 2023 elections,” he said.

The APC caucus, however, praised the Buni-led interim committee for some of the gains made over the past two years.

“We sat down as important players, as a caucus of this great party, to dissect all the issues that have affected our party since the formation of the interim and extraordinary convention planning committee.

“We are very aware of the challenges they have faced and we are also aware of the successes that the committee has had especially in terms of membership registration, they have come to harmonize some of the successes of the party, organizing congress at the district, local government and state level. We commend the performance of this committee in this regard,” Senator Abdullahi added.