The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has explained why some of its prominent politicians, including former national chairman of the party, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali; Prof Bem Angwe, Senator Othman Hunkuyi and many others dumped the party.
The party in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Alh Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq and made available to newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday, blamed the action of the defectors on the alleged high handedness of the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
It added that presidential candidate’s “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 also formed part of the reasons while Alkali and others dumped NNPP.
The party added:” 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 Prof Rufai Alkali emerged as national chairman at the convention that cemented the union on March 30th, 2022 but left the party and his position as national chairman on 30th March 2023 due to alleged high handedness and irreconciliable differences with Kwankwaso on issues of undemocratic tendencies and lately the desire to take over a platform that he was benevolently given by a gentle old man to actualise his ambition of running for the presidency of Nigeria.
“Prof Bem Angwe, a signatory to the MoU who long ago withdrew his signature before the document itself expired after the 2023 elections had allegedly complained of attempts to sell off his governorahip ticket in Benue state (which he struggled so hard to win) to the highest bidder. 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.
“Senator Sulaiman Othman Hunkuyi, a signatory to the MoU who also withdrew long ago, on his own part has been at war path with Kwankwaso even while he served within the party’s administrative structure as National Organising Secretary. 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 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. Hunkuyi had communicated his withdrawal from the understanding to the founder of the party, Dr Boniface Aniebonam to whom he also apologised over all the embarrassments faced despite his benevolence during the period they came into the party.
“He lamented and described as unthinkable the recent suspension and expulsion of the founder who the constitution describes as a life member who can’t be dismissed from the party.
“To us as a party, their departure has long being flashed to us, they are highly democratic individuals who do not stay where people can’t ventilate. 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. Their decision to quit hit us like the thunderstorm at a time the Dr Agbo leadership has set up a Special Committee to interact with them.
“Our doors are still wide open to have them back as co-fathers of the new NNPP we are presently building. At the interim, we wish them well in their struggle to re-invent our dear country, Nigeria through their new political party.”