Recent developments in the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) show that things are falling apart and the center appears not to be holding for a political party that made impressive showing in the last general elections. TONY AKOWE reports.
The New Nigeria People Party was first registered in 2002 by Dr. Boniface Aniebonam. Like many of the political parties that existed in the country, not many Nigerians were aware of its existence until 28th February, 2022 when it suddenly came into public limelight with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between three party leadership, The Nigeria Movement and the Kwankwasiya Movement. By the 1st of March, 2022, a new journey for the party began and this journey was. It can also be confirmed that the party had not won any election into an elective position in the country and was on the verge of being de registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The party was not deregistered along with several others because the electoral umpire had records to prove that the party won an election during the 2019 general election in Bauchi state. But as at the 2022, that person had resigned membership of the party and teamed up with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
But immediately after the 2023 general elections, signs of cracks within the party began to emerge. A day after the National Executive Committee meeting called to x-ray the conduct of the general elections, Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali resigned as the National Chairman of the party for “personal reasons”. Many have argued that the Professor of a political Science may have foreseen the current crisis and decided to quit when the ovation was loudest. Prof. Alkali told The Nation then that he believed that for the NNPP to be the party they want it to be, there was need to embark on a comprehensive restructuring to give it the national spread it deserves.
However, in a letter addressed to the National Secretary of the party and dated March 31, 2023, Prof Alkali said, he was resigning as National Chairman to pave way for the restructuring of the party and to reposition it for the task ahead. He dismissed speculations that he may have been forced to resign his position, insisting that he merely felt that the he needed to lead by example by paving the way for the emergence of a new leadership. He said he does not want any acrimony in the party since he believes in the restructuring of the party. Efforts to get him to comment on the current crisis in the party and whether he foresaw what is happening now failed as he decline comment on it.
However, the crisis that has engulfed the party has refused to abate, leading to what appeared to be an imminent collapse of the party. The Board of Trustees which the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee says was never inaugurated has said it was taking back the party, while asking those that came to join it to look for another party. The crisis took a different dimension when the faction of the party loyal to the Board of Trustees pulled out of the memorandum of understanding signed between the party and Kwankwasiya Movement in 2022 which saw the emergence of former Kano State Governor, Engr. Rabid Musa Kwankwaso as the National Leader of the party, while the founder of the party, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees. In the same vein, Dr. Aniebonam and the erstwhile National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Agbo Major was expelled from the party by the National Executive Committee, while the BOT also announced the suspension of Engr. Kwankwaso for three months. Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi who claimed to be the Secretary of the BOT announced an end to the romance between the NNPP, The Nigeria Movement and Kwankwasiya Movement. While wishing them well in future endeavor, he asked them to approach the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registration as a political party.