NNPP Explains Party Chieftains Exodus To APC

  • Blames high-handedness, lack of internal democracy
  • Describes 26 chieftains’ exit as ‘a thunderstorm’

BY VICTOR BUORO – The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has blamed high-handedness, lack of internal democracy and insatiable desire to appropriate the Party for selfish reasons for the defection of its former National Chairman, Professor Rufa’i Alkali, and other members to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq, the Party’s National Publicity Secretary, the immediate past Chairman, Prof Alkali, Prof Bem Angwe, Senator Othman Hunkuyi and several others left the NNPP “due to high-handedness and insatiable desire to take over a platform benevolently donated by Dr Boniface Aniebonam and its mother organisation – NAGAFF for use in the 2023 general election.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Abdulrasaq said, “Recall that the role of Prof Bem Angwe and Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi as signatories to the MOU between Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and NNPP leading to the fusion of the Kwankwassiyya and TNM groups has been repeatedly revealed to the press.

“Note also that Alkali emerged as National chairman at the convention that cemented the union on March 30, 2022, but left the party and his position on March 30, 2023, due to alleged high-handedness and irreconcilable differences with Kwankwaso on issues of undemocratic tendencies and lately the desire to take over fraudulently, a platform that he was benevolently given by a gentle old man to actualise his ambition of running for the presidency of Nigeria.”

Abdulrasaq disclosed that Angwe, a signatory to the MOU, who withdrew his signature before the document itself expired after the 2023 election, had allegedly complained of attempts to sell off his governorship ticket in Benue state (which he struggled so hard to win) to the highest bidder, adding; “He thereafter developed cold feet even though it affected his performance in the 2023 election despite the overwhelming love he enjoys from the good people of Benue State.”

Similarly, the statement said Senator Hunkuyi, another signatory to the MOU who also withdrew long ago, has been at loggerheads with Kwankwaso even as the party’s National Organising Secretary, adding that; “He complained of high-handedness, imposition, refusal to listen to others, and several other reasons while serving the party.

“The irreconcilable differences extended to the period after emerging as the governorship candidate of NNPP in Kaduna state. While the campaign lasted, there was no noticeable contact or synergy with the governorship candidate due to the rift which was very obvious”.

The statement further said Hunkuyi had communicated his withdrawal to the founder of the party, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, to whom he also apologised for all the embarrassment faced despite his benevolence during the period they came into the party.

While admitting that the 26 chieftains’ defection hit the party like a thunderstorm at a time when the new leadership of Dr Agbo Majo has set up a Special Committee to interact with them, Abdulrasaq said; “Our job at this point is to wish them well in their stay in the new party. It is our hope that they would enjoy the true essence of internal democracy and openness, the reason why they left NNPP for their new party.

“It was truly our desire to have retained them under the new leadership of Dr Agbo Major who is presently working very hard to restore internal democracy and constitutionality in the party’s leadership.”

However, the NNPP Spokesperson said the party still has its doors widely open to welcome the 26 members as co-fathers of the new NNPP it is presently building, saying that; “In the interim, we wish them well in their struggle to re-invent our dear country, Nigeria through their new political party.”

Meanwhile, the APC has posted on its official X handle that the National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Wednesday, received 26 chieftains of the NNPP into the party in Abuja.

“The National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje received into the APC, 26 chieftains of the New Nigeria People’s Party, including the immediate-past National Chairman of the party, Prof Rufa’i Alkali, and three governorship candidates”, the post said.

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