Former Zamfara senator, Kabiru Marafa, on Sunday, questioned the legitimacy of the Yobe State governor, Mala Buni, to oversee the affairs of the party while serving as the executive governor of Yobe State.
At a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, Mr Marafa said Governor Mala Buni of Yobe State cannot operate as a governor and at the same time chairman of the party.
The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) was constituted in 2020 after the controversial exit of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Mr Marafa, who represented Zamfara Central in the upper chamber for eight years, said he would be heading to court to challenge the legality of the committee and the appointment of Mr Buni as chairman.
“Mai Mala Buni’s CECPC is an illegal committee. It cannot conduct anything. Whatever it does is a nullity and it cannot stand in this country. We are going to challenge him on that in court and I don’t care what anyone will say. Buni looked for my trouble and I will give him ten times of that.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear that you cannot hold an executive position and hold party position at the same time. Our APC constitution is also very clear in Article 2 which is the supremacy of the constitution.
“In Section 17(4), it says no officer of the party shall hold any executive position in government concurrently with the party position. He is an Executive Governor.
“He cannot be the Chairman of APC and if he can, let the courts tell us. I am going to court, I am going to challenge that.
“And whatever he did from the time he was appointed to this time will be questioned. We have one APC.
“Remove this man so that he doesn’t bring everybody down. I am on a salvage mission.
“Article 20 of the same constitution says all party posts prescribed by this constitution shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at respective national convention or congress subject where possible to reach consensus.
“Who elected Buni and his committee? At which convention or congress? Are we throwing away this constitution?
“Then the judgment of the Supreme Court on the Ondo election is a clear indication of where APC is headed but because some people who have never gone to school but who God has elevated to certain positions, have forgotten how they got to the positions.
“For God sake and with all sense of modesty, I and Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State almost single-handedly with the help of some people made Buni the National Secretary of the party some years ago.
“We will force him to resign and I am sure the President will also do that,” he added.
The issue of the legality of the CECPC was raised earlier in the year by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, presidential aide, Babafemi Ojudu and former senator, Ita Enang.
The party at the Supreme Court narrowly got a verdict in favour of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, when the legitimacy of the party chairman that approved his candidacy was tested in the court.
Buni fights back
Mamman Mohammed, the spokesperson to the Yobe Governor, in a rebuttal issued on Sunday night, described Mr Marafa’s statement as “nothing but an empty ranting of an ant.”
He noted that the criticism of his boss by the party chieftain is an outburst from the latter’s loss at the last congress held in Zamfara State.
“He described the Zamfara Congress as an illegality, if it is so, why did he participate and if he is in doubt of the party’s leadership why did he adhere to every directive it issued?
“He is only complaining now because his camp failed the congress and lost out. He wouldn’t have been shouting if he had won. Marafa is a sinking politician who lost out and held everyone responsible for his self-inflicted political misfortune. As a responsible politician, he should just approach the court and stop being the complainant and juror,” Mr Mohammed said.
With Mr Marafa’s threats, the polarisation of the party in the state may be far from over despite the defection of the incumbent governor, Bello Matawalle to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
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