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Ex-PGF boss writes Buhari, accuses Buni of planning to scuttle APC convention

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
16 February 2022   |   3:00 am
Again, former Director General of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has raised the alarm over alleged plot by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary

Buhari. Photo/

Again, former Director General of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has raised the alarm over alleged plot by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to sabotage conduct of the national convention of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Lukman, in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, said his fears were based on failure of the committee to put in place tangible measures for conduct of the convention.

The letter, titled, ‘APC Convention: Caretaker or Undertaker’, expressed disappointment that sale of forms was yet to commence based on the schedule of the convention, as issued by the CECPC Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe on January 19, 2022.

He noted: “As it is, today, February 15, 2022, forms are not available anywhere and the excuse from all available sources is that unless zoning of offices to be contested are decided, forms will not be available. Why has the CECPC not conclude on zoning up till now? When will they conclude?”

Effort to reach Akpanudoedehe, via phone, to respond to the issues, as at 5:00 p.m., failed to yield results.

However, The Guardian gathered that forms for various positions of the National Working Committee (NWC) had been published as at Tuesday afternoon, in an apparent bid to douse apprehension among a section of party faithful over alleged moves to scuttle the convention.

The former Director General said: “Looking at the schedule of the convention, CECPC is expected to publish convention sub-committees on Saturday, February 19, 2022. The question is, has the sub-committees been set up and already working? If they have, what are these sub-committees and who are the members? If not, when will they be set up? What are the details of these committees and their mandates, which is to be implemented within less than one week to the convention?

“Your Excellency, the way the CECPC is approaching the organisation of the national convention gives enough ground to suspect internal sabotage.”

He said: “Is the leadership of the CECPC working to ensure that the convention doesn’t hold on February 26, 2022? Recall that initially, the convention was scheduled to hold December 28, 2021. Through consultations, it was moved to February 5, 2022. Unfortunately, we found ourselves, as a party, in the embarrassing situation of having to contend with speculation about alleged ambition of Buni to manipulate his emergence as the substantive national chairman of the party, which means reluctance to organise the convention and hand over to an elected leadership. Somehow, here we are, from February 5, 2022, the convention had to be moved to February 26, 2022.

“Even while consultations were going on, leading to the decision to move the convention to February 26, 2022, there were media speculation that the leadership of the CECPC wanted the convention moved to either May or June 2022. Some sponsored media campaigns were openly promoted to canvass these positions.”

Lukman added: “Although the alleged ambition of Buni to emerge as the substantive national chairman is very difficult to believe, however, with the way the leadership of CECPC under his watch is sluggishly handling organisation of the national convention, it gives strong credibility to the speculation.

“As things are, the CECPC leadership is using sophisticated strategies to force the hands of party leaders, including blackmails and wildcat promises of electoral opportunity to emerge as candidates of our party for the 2023 elections. This is very unfortunate and must be redressed urgently.”

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