The crisis rocking the leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has taken a new twist following a move by the faction of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to amend the party’s constitution and logo.
The decision to amend the constitution was confirmed during an exclusive interview with the National Auditor of NNPP, Ladipo Johnson.
The development is coming three days after the faction of the party under the leadership of Major Agbo expelled the presidential candidate of NNPP for alleged anti-party activities and misappropriation of party campaign funds.
Kwankwaso’s expulsion was announced in a statement released on Tuesday by the NNPP’s factional National Publicity Secretary, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq.
Abdulrasaq affirmed that the decision to expel Kwankwaso with immediate effect was taken after he failed to appear before the disciplinary panel to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.
The expulsion of the former Kano governor caused disaffection within the party and saw chieftains from opposition camps trading blame.
A few days after the drama, Saturday PUNCH findings revealed that there was a subtle move by the Kwankwaso camp to amend the logo and constitution allegedly to weaken the grip of the NNPP founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam.
Although the development was confirmed by Johnson who was the chairman of the disciplinary committee that expelled some factional members of the party a few weeks ago, the national auditor, however, denied the move was a response to the emergence of a faction within the NNPP.
“No, it has nothing to do with any faction. It was something we already discussed at the NEC. Unlike them (Agbo faction), we are serious people. But we haven’t changed the logo yet. We are planning to throw it out there for our members to compete and come up with ideas,” he said.
Reacting, acting National Chairman of the faction, Major Agbo, told correspondent that they were aware of the subtle move which they believed was directed at removing the immunity of the founder.
He said, “Obviously, the proposed amendment to the constitution and changing of logo they are talking about was deliberate. That was because they discovered suddenly that the man they are after (the founder) has immunity by the provision of that constitution. That’s why they are in a hurry to amend it.”
Meanwhile, the National Auditor of NNPP and chairman of the disciplinary committee that recently expelled some high-ranking members of the party, Ladipo Johnson, has shared his views on developments in the party.
He said, ”The party has not returned anywhere. Even in a limited liability company, can it just return like that when you have allocation of shares, memorandum of understanding and articles of association?
When asked if Kwankwaso was sanctioned for meeting with Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar without due consultation with the party.
”Election was over, and the President (Tinubu) said he wanted to have a government of national unity. As a responsible politician, Kwankwaso listened. Will he start telling every state chairman that he wanted to go and see the President since they were talking to us? As long as those in the national congress were informed, he could go. But again, it didn’t work out. So where is the anti-party in that? The last one they talked about wasn’t his fault as well. It was Atiku that visited him (Kwankwaso) at home. Is there anything wrong with that?
”They didn’t mention any of these at the time. It was after these people were suspended and expelled for anti-party activities that they were screaming ‘Kwankwaso also did anti-party.’ What they had in Apapa, Lagos had no semblance of the BoT. The meeting only had members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, who are not necessarily NNPP members. They constituted what was unknown to our constitution.
”How can you suspend Kwankwaso and the NWC? Was INEC at their meeting? Do things work like that? Did they write to INEC? How come nobody is asking Agbo questions? He said two weeks ago that the NWC wrongly suspended the founder and himself, and last week he claimed he was the acting chairman. How did that happen? Did they go to court and the court said we acted wrongly and they should act?”