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Home News APC crisis latest: Security beefed up around secretariat over possible attacks

APC crisis latest: Security beefed up around secretariat over possible attacks

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…Expelling me from APC’ll cause more crisis, Marafa tells Buni

Says ‘you’re convention planning c’ttee chair, not APC chairman’

You can’t drag us into the gutters with you — Akpanudoedehe

The crisis of confidence afflicting the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, took a curious twist yesterday as security operatives were strategically positioned along entry points into the Blantyre Street location of “Buhari House”, the party’s national secretariat.

Although party officials described the security presence as routine, they, however, conceded that it was based on ‘intelligence reports’, adding that the move was to forestall a possible attack or breakdown of law and order within the axis.

The development came on a day a chieftain of the APC from Zamfara State, Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, brushed off threats by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the party to throw him out of the APC, saying doing so would only aggravate the problems afflicting the party.But the party said it would be a waste of time to begin to join issues with individuals, saying Marafa could not drag it into the gutters.

On the unusual security presence at the entry points into the Blantyre Street, National Secretary of the CECPC, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe said:  “Nothing is happening. That was routine. You are not in a position to read security reports and so you cannot ask me about some issues. If something happens now, they will say ‘what were they doing?’

“It is a routine thing, it is something that has to do with what you are not aware of. The FCT Command of the Police, the IGP, the FCT minister, sometimes when they have information, not only here but even along the entry points to Abuja, they take proactive actions.

“We have a duty to protect everyone. We read security reports. I am sure you are fully aware that we have every security agency in our secretariat. So, we read security reports. It is just a routine security measure”.

You can’t expel me

Marafa in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, urged Governor Buni to respect the rule of law, asking the governor to stop deluding himself as the national chairman of the APC.

Marafa declared that Buni  is only chairman of the party’s convention planning committee, and not the party chairman.

He dismissed threats by the caretaker committee to expel him for expressing reservations on its legality, describing it as an empty threat.

Marafa, who represented Zamfara Central senatorial district in the last assembly, had on Sunday, threatened to institute legal actions against Buni’s CECPC over what he described as gross violations of the party’s constitution in the conduct of party’ affairs.

“APC is a political party, not a committee. Committees are created to serve specific functions not to usurp the powers of the entire legal entity. The functions of the Mai Mala committee is to plan a convention just as its name implies. Mai Mala is the chairman of APC convention planning committee and not APC itself,” said Marafa.

According to him, Section 12.3 of the APC constitution lists the party’s National Executive Committee NEC members “and it made the National Chairman of the party and not the chairman of any committee by whatever name as the chairman of the organ, while Section 12.3 (xxxi) lists the President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as members only, so the question is, who approved the constitution and subsequent extensions of tenure of office of the illegal and obnoxious CECPC?

“This is the situation we find ourselves. The Chairman of APC today is an overzealous chairman of convention planning committee only and a sitting governor,” Marafa declared.

The CECPC had in a statement issued Monday in Abuja, through its Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudodehe, warned Marafa to shape in or shape out.

The party threatened to wield the big stick, saying Marafa’s actions and utterances constituted insubordination and reduction of party issues to personality contest.

Reacting to the threat, Marafa said he could not be silenced by the caretaker committee.

“Expelling me from the party will only aggravate the problem. It will herald the beginning of  agitation; rule of law must be respected. The committee is illegal and alien to the constitution of the party. We are building everything on nothing. Rather than the expulsion threat, the committee or the chairman should respond to issues I raised.

“What does our party constitution say that renders Buni’s committee null and void? Section 17 (4) of the constitution of our beloved party says ‘no officer in any organ of the party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently’. Article 20 states the only way the leadership of the party can evolve.

“Section 13.3(iv) which was relied upon to create the illegal body called CECPC talks about the powers of NEC to create committees.

“Mai Mala should choose between Yobe or APC. The combination of the two is no longer tenable,” Marafa declared.

He reiterated his determination to institute legal actions to save the party from what he tagged, ‘’over ambitious Buni”, if he refused to revert to his original assignment as chairman convention planning committee.

“We will show him the way out dishonourably. We will not allow the party we contributed immensely to develop to be destroyed by over ambitious self-centred and enemies of the party, and the country.

“This is the party we laboured, toiled and laid the foundation for its success. We will not allow those who have little or no stake in the party to destroy it or to please certain individuals and achieve their selfish interests,” he said.

Marafa, while insisting that he committed no offence, said the party should revert to the path of constitutionality and rule of law or face extinction.

APC won’t enter the gutters

Akpanudoedehe on his part, said the party was duty-bound to explain its processes and procedures to the public, saying it would not dignify Marafa with a response.

Declaring that the party won’t be dragged into the cesspool with anyone, he said the APC as an institution would not engage in personal exchanges.

“We are not abusive to any member of our party. We are too matured to engage in personal responses. Our interest is the Nigerian public and the party members. We won’t engage in a front and back with anybody.

“We are not going to be replying everything that anyone says. No, we are not going to do that. I have never been personal. You can abuse me but my duty is to explain to the public. My interest is to give a balanced information to the public and it is for them to say whether we are saying the truth or not.

‘’We are not going to enter into personal exchange of words. Nobody can drag me or the party into the gutters. We are an institution. We are not dealing with individuals, we are dealing with the party. We are an institution,” said Akpanudoedehe.

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