From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There is still no light at the end of the tunnel for the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) as factional Caretaker Committee has formally written it to vacate the national secretariat of the party.
Chairman of the factional CECPC, Mustapha Audu who made the disclosure in a chat with Daily Sun, however noted that his group will not venture to occupy the secretariat forcefully due to the directive given to urchins to stab them if they dare come to the secretariat.
Asked what happened to the initial threat from the APC Progressives Youth Mandate to occupy the secretariat and audit the Buni-led Caretaker Committee, he said that his faction has not only written them but also commenced the audit process.
“Nothing happened to the threat because ours is a mental occupation. We won’t do anything physical and that is why we can’t even protest because we are aware that they have paid those boys outside the APC headquarters to stab people in the crowd when we show up there. It is a ploy to brand us violent people.
“We know their trap and cannot fall into it. However, we have written to the leadership of the party to vacate the APC headquarters and we are waiting for them to do so. As for the audit, we have started the process.
“The good thing is that Mr President is aware of what we are doing. In fact, it was the DSS that arranged the meeting to be held between us and Mr. President because they know that what we are doing is critical to the survival of the party
“It may surprise you to know that the DSS handled us with civility. I could not believe what they said to me. They said so many positive things. Incidentally, they told them to break into our houses, pick us up in the middle of the night, detain us for three days and then release us.
“But in their own wisdom, they knew that carrying out their request means to turn Nigerian youths against the security agencies. The DSS advised us that so long as we are not doing anything violently, asking people to commit crimes, we should proceed in what we are doing. They said that since we are fighting for young competent persons to be included in the government, there is nothing wrong with that as far as they are concerned,” he revealed.
Mustapha, an aspirant for the 2019 Kogi State governorship poll, warned that his faction is going ahead with the planned February 26 National Convention, even he added that it may still be dependent on the outcome of their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the ability of the Buni-led committee to right their wrongs.
On whether they are going ahead to conduct APC parallel National Convention in February, he replied: “We are absolutely going ahead with the convention and February 26 is sacrosanct for it. We are going ahead with it because there is no reason for us to suspend the convention. There has been a series of meetings between us and the DSS and some of the leaders of the party.
“It is clear that what we did has affected the plans of the Buni-led Caretaker Committee because they were not planning to hold any convention in the first place till July/August this year. They plan to combine the convention with the party primaries for the presidency. There were lots of illegalities going on truncated by our declaration. Our declaration has affected the plans of some of the leaders that don’t have anything good for us,” he noted.
While expressing readiness and giving conditions to sacrifice his agitations, he said: “If the right thing is done, I can. Simply, they should call us for dialogue, we want youth inclusiveness and we demanded for 12 out of the 27 national leadership positions. We are asking for vice chairmanship positions, two per geopolitical zone. There is still room for negotiation.”
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