Convention: Reprieve for Buni as factional APC CECPC collapses

Prince Mustapha Audu

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Less than three weeks to the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, reprieve came the way of the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the party on Monday following the collapse of a factional CECPC led by Prince Mustapha Audu.

Mustapha who is the son of a former governor of Kogi state and late chieftain of the party, Prince Abubakar Audu is the leader of an APC support group, the Progressive Youth Movement PYM.

The PYM had on November 20, 2021, unilaterally announced the disbandment of the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.

Consequently, the movement named its leader, Prince Mustapha Audu as Chairman of the new CECPC with a mandate to conduct the party’s national convention on February 26.

The youths also named Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila into the new CECPC as representatives of the National Assembly.

Some elements of the PYM subsequently went to court to give the judicial spine to the group’s declaration while its leaders also vowed to take over the Buhari House national secretariat of the party.

However, on Monday, the group withdrew its court case and thereafter met with representatives of Gov. Buni at the secretariat.

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Informed party sources said some members of the group had declared the need to withdraw the case and align with the mainstream APC since the demand for the February convention had been met.

“Consequently, they had no choice but to collapse their structure into the main party structure. Most of their demands have been met”, said the source.

Both the APC National Youth Leader, Barr. Ismaeel Buba Ahmed and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Party’s National Caretaker Committee, Hon. Yakubu Murtala Ajaka was on hand to receive the PYM leaders.

Speaking after a closed-door meeting, Barr. Ahmed said both groups have now reconciled.

“You know we are all young people and APC is a party of young people. In any political party or organization, there is bound to be disagreement. Our brothers and sisters here have had to express their concerns over certain things over a period of time and now we are all here, we have reconciled.

“They have tabled their concerns and the party has taken care of some of these concerns because the party is a listening party. We are here to hold our hands and sing ‘kumbaya’ that we are one united party. We are here to proceed and work together in the forthcoming party convention and the general elections in 2023.

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“Some people had an issue with the date of convention and we have been able to resolve it. Secondly, to make sure young people have a stake in the party, especially for the position of the national youth leader of the party being allocated to a godfather somewhere to determine who he brings without the consent of the youths that have contributed. Among other positions which the young people believe that in a party of over forty million membership, at least thirty million are youths, and the leadership of the party must reflect this reality. Hence, it was more of an issue of structural leadership and reforms. They have shown that they are satisfied with some of the changes and progress made so far”, he stated.

Prince Audu on his part also disclosed that the demands of his group have been met.

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By Kalu Odinakachi
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