Nine ward Chairmen and about 700 others have decamped from the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) to the Labour Party (LP) in Kaduna state.
The Member representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency in the state, Hon. Ekene Abubakar Adams together with the Northwest Chairmannof LP Hon. Umaru Mohammadu, have on Thursday received the decampees in Kaduna.
The Ward Chairmen with the 700 supporters were from Kujama, Narayi, Sabon-Tasha, Kakau, Sabon-Gari Rido, Nasarawa, Gwagwada and Yelwa ward decided to dump the NNPP, saying they would strengthen the Peter Obi Movement and that of Hon Ekene in the North west region.
While receiving them at his Constituency Office together with other LP chieftains, Hon Ekene said they have taken the right decision in view of the rising profile of Labour Party in the state.
“More stakeholders from different political parties will have no choice than to come into the party considering the good representation we have seen so far. History is about to be made in Kaduna and the nation because the Labour Party is a movement which is set to present a benchmark for good governance and take over the reins of power for the benefit of all.”
“I specially congratulate all of you for this decision. When you give people good representation, they will have no choice than to take advantage of the process. So we will continue to do our best like we have always been doing to ensure that they get what belongs to them and improve their livelihoods,” he said.
The Kujama Ward Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Aruwa said “we have no choice than to come and associate with Labour Party, considering the good works Ekene has been doing since he assumed office as a Federal Lawmaker.”
“Since Ekene who also doubles as the House Committee Chairman on Sport assumed office, he has been the talk of the town following his good work, therefore it’s pertinent that we also identify ourselves with him for the overall interest of our ward, Local Government and the state at large,” he said.
The Rido Ward Women Leader, Firdausi George said “there is no better decision than this. With Ekene I am optimistic that we will not regret our decision. Labour Party is the best place to be at the moment and we are going to do everything humanly possible to contribute our quota to the growth of the party.”
“There’s no doubt, the defection today will have huge impact on who becomes the winner of the forthcoming bye-election for the Kaduna state House of Assembly in Chikun Local Government Area, following the demise of Hon. Madami Garba of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) few months ago,” she said.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the NNPP recently expelled president candidate of the party, Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Led by Agbo Major the decision to expel Kwankwaso was taken at an emergency NEC meeting held in Lagos.
The group said this followed his failure to appear before the disciplinary committee set up by the party to probe allegations against him.
The party, in a statement signed by its acting national publicity secretary, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq, noted that Kwankwaso refused to appear before the committee which was set up to give him opportunity to defend the allegations leveled against him.
According to the group, the disciplinary committee invited Kwankwaso to defend allegations of gross anti party activities and mismanagement of party/campaign funds leveled against him but he turned down the invitation.
The statement reads in part: “The National Executive Committee (NEC) met in an emergency session on Friday 1st September 2023 and resolved as follows: Following the refusal of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to appear before the Disciplinary Committee which sat on Thursday 31st August 2023 after being duly invited in writing he is hereby expelled from New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) with immediate effect.
“That the erstwhile presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso would be reported to appropriate quarters to answer questions, on financial impropriety relating to mismanagement of public funds.”
Meanwhile, a group loyal to Kwankwaso said it has approached the court to help restore sanity in the polity.
It said the High Court presided over by Justice Usman Malam Na’Abba, granted their prayers restraining Chief Boniface Aniebonam, Dr Gilbert Agbo Major and 16 others from taking any action on behalf of the party until the determination hearing of the case on 05 October, 2023.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, national chairman of the faction of the party, Malam Kawu Ali, said it is an open secret that the former members are not backed by law in all they are doing.
He said, “The arrow heads 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.
Also a former national chairman of the NNPP, Prof Rufa’i Alkali dumped the party.
On March 31, 2023, Alkali stepped aside as the national chairman of the NNPP and since then, the party has been engulfed in a series of crises.
In a letter of resignation obtained by LEADERSHIP, Alkali said the reason for his resignation was to give the party an opportunity to move ahead and move fast to consolidate on the indisputable gains made so far during the last 2023 General Elections and prepare for the forthcoming elections that lie ahead.
“Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, the party has slipped deeper and deeper into avoidable crises and conflicts that have led to several cases of suspension and counter-suspension of key leaders of the party, acrimonious press war, accusations and counter- accusations, which regrettably has led to the factionalisation of the party.
“After the historic merger of the party in March 2022, together with other astute, highly dedicated, hardworking and loyal members of the party, we put in place a robust political structure nationwide. The National Working Committee (NWC) forged cohesion among our members and created a formidable national platform that fielded candidates for all elective offices from the State Houses of Assembly to National Assembly, Governorship and the Presidency. I am proud to be part of that Dream Team.
“It is on record that within a period of less than one year and despite the limited time corridor from the merger to the General Elections, the party won elections in the Governorship, National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly seats.
“However, I voluntarily stepped aside as the National Chairman of the NNPP shortly after the general election this year to give room for new hands and fresh ideas in order to advance the party forward. As far as I was concerned, I never believed in the culture of sitting tight in leadership positions nor that I was indispensable. The New Nigeria we all aspire to achieve must be built on the solid foundation of dedication, hard work, resilience and personal sacrifice.
“However, recent disturbing developments in the NNPP with the emergence of factions working against each other is really unfortunate and counter-productive.
“Sadly, there appears to be no end in sight in this needless war of attrition. It seems that there’s an unwritten code by the warring factions not to allow Elders of the party to mediate to finding a lasting solution to the crises. This is indeed regrettable and unhealthy for the growth and survival of any political party, especially an emerging political party such as the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
“Therefore, and in accordance with the NNPP Constitution, and having consulted widely, I hereby announce the withdrawal of my membership of the NNPP forthwith, and I pray and wish the party the best in her future endeavours”, Alkali stated.