The New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, has revealed the reason for the defection of its former National Chairman, Prof Rufa’i Alkali, and other members of the party, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq, on Wednesday said that Alkali, Prof Bem Angwe, Senator Othman Hunkuyi and several others left the party “due to high-handedness and insatiable desire to take over a platform benevolently donated by Dr Boniface Aniebonam and its mother organisation – NAGAFF for use in the 2023 general election”.
The APC had posted on its official X handle that its national chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Wednesday, received 26 chieftains of the NNPP, including Alkali and three governorship candidates, into the party in Abuja.
Abdulrasaq, in the statement, recalled that the role of Angwe and Hunkuyi as signatories to the MOU between Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and NNPP leading to the fusion of the Kwankwassiyya and TNM groups has been repeatedly revealed to the press.
The statement also noted that Alkali emerged as national chairman at the convention that cemented the union on March 30, 2022, but left the party and his position on March 30, 2023, due to alleged “high-handedness and irreconcilable differences with Kwankwaso on issues of undemocratic tendencies and lately the desire to take over fraudulently a platform that he was benevolently given by a gentle old man to actualise his ambition of running for the presidency of Nigeria”.
He explained that Angwe, a signatory to the MOU who long ago withdrew his signature before the document itself expired after the 2023 election, had allegedly complained of attempts to sell off his governorship ticket in Benue State, which he struggled so hard to win, to the highest bidder.
The statement said that he, thereafter, developed cold feet even though it affected his performance in the 2023 election despite the overwhelming love he enjoys from the good people of Benue State.
According to the statement, Hunkuyi, a signatory to the MOU who also withdrew long ago, on his part has been at war with Kwankwaso even while he served within the party’s administrative structure as National Organising Secretary.
The statement said that Hunkuyi complained of high-handedness, imposition, refusal to listen to others and several other reasons while serving the party.
“The irreconcilable differences extended to the period after emerging as the governorship candidate of NNPP in Kaduna State.
“While the campaign lasted, there was no noticeable contact or synergy with the governorship candidate due to the rift which was very obvious,” the statement said, adding that Hunkuyi had communicated his withdrawal to the founder of the party, Aniebonam, to whom he also apologised for all the embarrassment faced despite his benevolence during the period they came into the party.
According to Abdulrasaq, the defection of the 26 NNPP chieftains hit the party like a thunderstorm at a time when the new leadership of Dr Agbo Major has set up a special committee to interact with them.