The New Nigeria Peoples Party has disclosed the rationale behind the departure of Prof. Rufa’i Alkali, the party’s former national chairman, and other party members to the All Progressives Congress.
Alkali, Prof. Bem Angwe, Senator Othman Hunkuyi, and several other party members departed “due to high-handedness and insatiable desire to take over a platform benevolently donated by Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and its mother organization – NAGAFF for use in the 2023 general election,” according to a statement released by the party on Wednesday through its National Publicity Secretary, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq.
The APC previously announced on its official X feed that 26 NNPP chieftains were welcomed into the party on Wednesday in Abuja by the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje.
“The 26 chieftains of the New Nigeria People’s Party, including the immediate-past National Chairman of the party, Prof. Rufa’i Alkali, and three governorship candidates, were received into the APC by the National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje,” the ruling APC stated on social media.
The statement from Abdulrasaq, the NNPP, read as follows: “Remember that the press has been repeatedly informed about 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.”
It should be noted that Alkali was elected national chairman at the convention that established the union on March 30, 2022. However, he resigned from the party and his position on March 30, 2023, citing perceived arrogance, irreconcilable differences with Kwankwaso over issues of undemocratic tendencies, and, more recently, a desire to assume power through fraud. Alkali was given a platform by a kind old man to pursue his ambition of running for the presidency of Nigeria.
A signatory to the MOU named Angwe withdrew his signature long ago, according to Abdulrasaq, before the pact itself expired when he allegedly received complaints about attempts to sell his governorship ticket in Benue state—which he had worked so hard to win—to the highest bidder.
“Thereafter, despite the overwhelming love he receives from the good people of Benue State, he developed cold feet, even though it affected his performance in the 2023 election.”
The statement further revealed that Senator Hunkuyi, who was a signatory to the MOU but withdrew long ago, had a personal vendetta against Kwankwaso even throughout his tenure as National Organising Secretary inside the party’s hierarchy.
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While working for the party, he voiced complaints about being haughty, imposing his will, not listening to others, and a number of other issues. The irreconcilable conflicts persisted throughout the time when NNPP emerged as the state’s governorship candidate in Kaduna.
A portion of the statement said, “Due to the rift which was very obvious, there was no noticeable contact or synergy with the governorship candidate during the campaign.”
It further stated that Hunkuyi had informed Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, the party’s founder, of his decision to leave, and that he had apologized to him for whatever humiliation he had caused, even though he had been kind to him when they first joined the organization.
According to Abdulrasaq, the 26 chieftains’ defection struck the party like a thunderstorm at a time when Dr. Agbo Majo’s new leadership had formed a Special Committee to deal with them.
Right now, it’s our responsibility to wish them well during their stay at the new party. The reason they left the NNPP for their new party was, we believe, to experience the true essence of internal democracy and transparency.
“We sincerely wanted to keep them in place under Dr. Agbo Major’s new leadership, who is currently making great efforts to reestablish internal democracy and constitutionality in the party’s leadership.
He did point out, though, that the party’s doors are still firmly open to accept the 26 defectors back as co-fathers of the new NNPP it is currently constructing.
“While they work to reinvent our beloved Nigeria through their new political party, we wish them well in the interim,” he said.