Security operatives, mainly composed of the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Monday morning besieged the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat.
The fierce looking armed security personnel cordoned off the Blantyre street in Wuse 2 area of Abuja where the National Secretariat, Buhari House is located.
The security beef up may not be unconnected with the alleged removal of Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State Governor as the Chairman of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and his replacement with Abubakar Bello, the Niger State Governor.
President Muhamadu Buhari reportedly gave the approval after a faction of APC governors allegedly complained to him that Buni was not inclined to holding the March 26 National Convention hence there were no preparations to that effect.
While Buni is currently in Dubai receiving medical attention and is not around to defend himself against the allegations, Buhari yesterday (Sunday) departed Abuja for routine medical check-up in London.
Bello who is also a member of the CECPC on the other hand is said to have summoned a meeting of the Caretaker Committee at the National Secretariat today (Monday) at 10 am.
A credible source at the Secretariat confided in BusinessDay that the tight security at the Secretariat is to hinder the Niger Governor and his loyalists in the CECPC from accessing the Buhari House to take over or hold any meeting
The presence of more security here is unusual. The simple reason is to prevent Bello and his allies in the Caretaker from entering the Secretariat to take over or hold any meeting. Note that His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni is still in charge and even in his absence, the Secretary, Akpanudoedehe is controlling the Secretariat and would not allow any illegal business,” the APC Secretariat staff said.
Reacting to the development, John Akpanudoedehe APC CECPC Secretary said there is no change in the party’s leadership, describing media reports pointing to that effect as fake news.
Akpanudoedehe in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday said the media reports are fake and should be disregarded.
“Our attention has been drawn to sponsored media reports on an imaginary leadership change in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
“The APC is a progressive political party guided by rules. Leadership changes are not announced by ‘sources’ through name dropping in the media.
“We urge our teeming supporters, members and indeed the general public to remain calm and support the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC CECPC conduct a rancour-free and credible National Convention deserving of our great party,” the statement read.
At the time of this report, neither Bello nor any member of the Caretaker Committee had arrived for the meeting or any other business at the Secretariat while security operatives continued to keep vigil.
OBSERVERSTIMES have it that Member, representing North Central in the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has arrived at the national secretariat of the party and currently meeting with some members of the CECPC.
Bello who arrived at about 12pm went straight to the National Working Committee NWC Hall.
He also parked his official vehicle at the designated parking lot of the “National Chairman”.
He was soon followed by the National Secretary of the CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe who came into the secretariat at about 12:07 pm.
Sources at the meeting said at least nine of the 12 CECPC members were present and that the session was being presided over by Gov. Bello.
There had been speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari had sanctioned the sack of Gov. Mai Mala Buni as National Chairman of the CECPC. Gov. Buni who travelled outside the country last week was being expected back to the country on Monday but as of the time of filing this report, it was not immediately clear if he was back as most of his aides were not seen at the secreteriat.
Other reports said the CECPC had been disbanded and that Gov. Bello was appointed as a sole administrator for the party.
The CECPC had often held its routine meetings on Mondays.