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Nigeria: Those Who Call the Shots At Buhari's House – AllAfrica.com

Adedayo Akinwale profiles top power brokers in the All Progressives Congress
Following the sack of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on June 25, 2020 after a protracted leadership tussle and the subsequent inauguration of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee of the party led by the Governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala Buni, it has altered the power play at the party.
In 2013, four opposition parties came together in a historic political gang up against the People’s Democratic Party: the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigerian Peoples Party, the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a fraction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form what is today known as APC today.
The major reason for forming the alliance was to wrest power from the erstwhile ruling party.
The APC achieved its goals after it succeeded in dislodging the PDP by winning the 2015 presidential election.
THISDAY investigation revealed that the honeymoon began to run into troubled waters shortly after the APC formed government and the ACN power blocks started to feel uncomfortable with the leadership style of former Edo State governor, Odigie Oyegun who succeeded former Osun state governor and pioneer national Chairman of APC,Chief Bisi Akande.
Oyegun’s exit and emergence of the former President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Adams Oshiomhole saw the return of the defunct ACN power bloc at Buhari House, leaving the ANPP, CPC stranded.
Investigation revealed that the ouster of Oshiomhole had since altered the balance of power at the party’s national secretariat where the CPC and ANPP tendencies now decide who gets what at the ruling party national secretariat ahead of its national convention.
Since the emergence of Buni as the Caretaker Chairman of the party, THISDAY investigation revealed that those allegedly calling the shots at Buhari House are one Muritala Yakubu, a Personal Assistant and a powerful influential member of the Buni’s ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, the Chief of Staff, Abdullahi Gasuwa and Director Organising, one Prof. Al-Mustapha Mednaer.
Despite the facade of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), the umbrella body of the governors elected on the platform of the APC Governors to give the impression of a united governors bloc, investigation revealed that on sensitive party matters, Buni only take into confidence governors from the North: Kebbi state Governor and the Chairman of PGF, Atiku Bagudu, his Jigawa state counterpart, Abubakar Badaru and Niger state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.
THISDAY investigation further revealed that the South-west is excluded in the ongoing power play at the Buhari House despite the fact that Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola is a member of the Caretaker Committee.
A reliable source told THISDAY that the Buni-led committee is wary of his Osun state counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola as the latter is perceived as being too close to a former Lagos State governor and leader of the defunct ACN power bloc, Bola Tinubu, who is smarting to pick the party presidential ticket and succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Another party source revealed to THISDAY that the relationship between Ondo State Governor and Chairman of Southern Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has been frosty recently.
The source revealed: “Akeredolu is angry that while he was in Court against the PDP candidate in the Ondo State Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), the Yobe state governor never bothered to show concern because he didn’t want to offend a powerful Minister in Buhari’s cabinet, the leader of a cabal that allegedly wanted Akeredolu out of Ondo Government House.
“After his triumph at the Supreme court, Akeredolu told other APC governors at a meeting that Governor Buni should dislodge himself from the party Secretariat as the Supreme Court judgement frowned at Buni’s combination of elective and party positions as stated in the minority court judgement.”
According to the source, Governor Akeredolu was marked for political annihilation because of his role in the enactment of anti-grazing law and establishment of Amotekun, the South-west security outfit to check the activities of criminal herders.
The Yobe state governor is also accused of nepotism because he is favourably disposed to giving national assignments to chieftains of the party from the North.
THISDAY source cited as examples, the chairman of the APC eight member Constitution Review Committee, led by Professor Tahir Mamman and Chairman of National Reconciliation Committee, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, inaugurated last week.
As things stand now, the ruling party is predominantly run by chieftains of the defunct CPC and some elements of the defunct ANPP.
A party source told THISDAY that contrary to the perception out there, the National Secretary of the Caretaker committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe has no grip on the party administration as he often defers to the kitchen cabinet of Buni run by his Chief of Staff and a certain Personal Assistant.
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As the party edges closer to its national convention which is tentatively scheduled to hold in December, the perception out there is that a chieftain of the defunct CPC chieftain is being pencilled to succeed Governor Buni as national chairman.
The party source further confided in THISDAY that the zoning permutation has since created friction between the Kogi state governor and his Niger state colleague, Abubakar Sani Bello.
“The Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, who is also a presidential hopeful has kept his distance from the national secretariat in Abuja because of a certain aspirant for the office of national chairman from his zoning North-central zone.
“Governor Yahaya Bello doesn’t want the position zoned to North Central. He is not happy with his Niger state counterpart who is pushing for the position to come to North Central,” a party source revealed.
Responding, the Director General of Press and Media to Buni, Mr. Mamman Mohammed said they have not heard anyone complaining about the chairman.
According to him, Who is accusing him, you? We have not heard one. Who is complaining? I wonder when you come up with unfounded, pedestrian or cooked stories and you want us to respond? Come with something serious please.
Read the original article on This Day.
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