President Muhammadu Buhari has recognised Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni as the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The president made this known when Buni visited him in London on Tuesday.
Buhari said he understood the controversy within the party which led to litigation, saying he nevertheless recognised Buni as the legitimate chairman, urging him to continue to pilot the affairs of the party leading to the convention.
In the same vein, in a letter to the chairman of APC governors’ forum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, President Buhari called for an end to the party’s crisis, saying “first of all, the issue of interim leadership, the status quo remains”.
The APC leadership crisis started in late February when Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello took over affairs of the party. Later, a letter surfaced that Mai Mala had delegated him because he had travelled abroad for medical check-up.
However, some governors, including Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, afterwards said it was President Muhammadu Buhari who ordered the removal of Mai Mala Buni, who took office in June 2020.
The move comes as the party plans to hold its national convention on March 26, where leaders will be elected at the national level despite a court order to adjourn.
“Preparing a successful national conference on March 26 is the main goal of the committee and we will continue to plan to do so until the president returns and assumes office,” the committee secretary said in a statement on Tuesday.
Candidates for the party’s National Chairmanship position have begun to pay N20 million for nomination forms, just as a former governor of Zamfara State, Abduaziz Yari in defiance of the party’s zoning arrangement picked a chairmanship form on Wednesday.