The national leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has described the expulsion of its 2023 presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, from the party as a huge joke.
The acting National Publicity Secretary and Auditor of the party, Oladipo Johnson, made this known while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, on behalf of the National Chairman of NNPP, Mallam Abba Kawu Ali.
Johnson stated that the party was intact, and it has not been factionalised, as reported in some quarters, describing those who have suspended Kwankwaso as empty barons and jokers.
The NNPP spokesman asserted that those who have been suspended from the party, such as Boniface Aneibonam and Gilbert Major Agbo, do not have the constitutional powers to expel the former Governor of Kano State.
He said, “We wish to reiterate that our NWC is intact, except for the former National Publicity Secretary alongside his cohorts, who have been expelled by a properly constituted National Executive Committee (NEC). All our State Chairmen (37) and other MEMBERS of the NEC. The NNPP, since the dissolution of the Board of Trustees (BOT) in 2022 publicly in the presence of INEC and the Media, has not constituted a new Board. The BOT is not what one person can sit in one corner to constitute.
“As you are aware, some members of NNPP, based on allegations of anti-Party activities during the 2023 General elections, were properly investigated and sanctions applied in line with the letters of our Constitution. About Ten (10) of them, along with Dr. Boniface Aneibonam and our former National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Gilbert Major Agbo, gathered in Apapa, Lagos and claimed to have dissolved the properly constituted National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party.
“For the records, this present NWC was constituted and inaugurated on April 2022 for a period of four (4) years at a ceremony witnessed by the bahdstreetvibes National Electoral Commission (INEC). The process of removing member(s) of the NWC is very clear in our Constitution, and no organ of the Party has the power to dissolve the NWC, not even the Board of Trustees, which is yet to be formally constituted.
“The results of our investigations have made it very clear that some external forces, scared of the 2027 elections, are behind these recalcitrant persons and their shenanigans and their main target, no doubt, is His Excellency, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso PhD, FNSE. We, as a party, are aware of their engagements and their plans. We know their limitations according to the Statutes (NNPP Constitution, Electoral Act, INEC Guidelines, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as Amended), but since their mission, in collaboration with our detractors from outside the party is to create confusion and distraction, the party, as a law-abiding organisation that believes in the rule of law, decided to approach the courts to put a stop to their evil machinations of disrupting our well laid down programmes for subsequent elections.
“To this end, the NNPP as a PARTY approached the Court to help restore sanity in the polity. It is an open secret that these former members are not backed by law in all they are doing. The arrowheads of this onslaught have ceased to be members of the PARTY by virtue of their suspension/expulsion. However, in view of the backing they are getting from the opposition, we need to use the instrumentalities of the law to protect the sanctity of the party. Therefore, the party, in a suit No: K/M1157/2023 on the 4th day of September 2023, has been granted an interim order of injunction, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice which stops the Defendants, by themselves, their Agents, Cronies, and Whosoever acting through or for them from parading themselves, issuing press releases, granting interviews etc as Officers, Leaders, or members of the party. (Order attached).
“We are all human beings capable of rational reasoning. How could some former members who have either been suspended or expelled gather in a place and make pronouncements about the party? For emphasis sake, our last NEC meeting last Tuesday, August 29, 2023, had in attendance, the Kano State Governor, Senators, House of Representatives members, Speaker of House of Assembly, all the members of the NWC, including their Deputies (except Major Gilbert Agbo who was then on suspension before his expulsion), the six (6) Ex-officio members, Chairmen of all the 3 States and FCT, and other MEMBERS OF the NEC. Is it not amusing that some people still refer to those expelled members as a faction? A faction of which party?
“It is very sad that a political party which has been in existence since 2002, and as the time we HELD the 2023 General elections, could not boast of one House of Assembly seat, (the Honourable who won a seat in Bauchi in 2019 had defected to PDP), could be talking of “taking their party back”. From whom? Is it possible that some members are just happy having a party on paper? Can it be true that some persons are just contented on having a party they can only use for ‘negotiations’ or to transact business when elections come”? Why are some people not happy when a member(s) of their party wins (s) the election? As was the case with the Honourable from Bauchi, who defected to PDP out of frustration?
“We wish to reiterate that our NWC is intact, except for the former National Publicity Secretary alongside his cohorts, who have been expelled by a properly constituted National Executive Committee (NEC). All our State Chairmen (37) and other MEMBERS of the NEC. The NNPP, since the dissolution of the Board of Trustees (BOT) in 2022 publicly in the presence of INEC and the Media, has not constituted a new Board. The BOT is not what one person can sit in one corner to constitute.
“Finally, yes, we are aware that they are asking spurious questions about the Party. The question is, “in what capacity”? As non-members, at least for now, they lack the locus to ask any question about the Party. Once you are suspended or expelled, you forfeit all your rights and privileges.”