Founder, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr Boniface Aniebonam, has appealed to forces within and outside the party to allow Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano State to face governance in a peaceful atmosphere.
Aniebonam, also the chairman, NNPP Board of Trustees, stated this on Tuesday in Lagos, following controversies around court rulings sacking Yusuf and his membership of NNPP as at March 18 gubernatorial election in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the leadership crisis rocking the NNPP started when a group loyal to Aniebonam, suspended the party’s 2023 Presidential Candidate, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, who is the leader of Kwankwasiyya social-political group that merged with NNPP in the build up to 2023 general elections.
Similarly, a faction loyal to Kwankwaso also announced expulsion of some national officers loyal to Aniebonam over alleged anti-party activities and the back and forth battle had continued.
The crisis became messier with some protests after the Nov. 17 Appeal Court’s ruling upheld the decision of the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which sacked Yusuf earlier in September.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices, held that Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the gubernatorial election that held in the state on March 18.
This had continued to generate controversies in the political space as well as the NNPP, with divergent voices within and outside the party agreeing and disagreeing on Yusuf’s membership.
Aniebonam, in his latest reaction, said: “I hereby and once again make it clear that Gov. Abbah Kabir Yusuf of Kano state is a duly registered member of the NNPP.
“If he was not, NNPP would not have presented him to the Kano indigenes through INEC for the purposes of the 2023 governorship election.
“If he was not a member and presented by NNPP for the purposes of election, I guess INEC would not have allowed his participation.
“And for the emphasis, it is only a political party that determines its membership and not INEC and or any other interloper.”
Calling for peace and justice in Kano, the NNPP founder expressed hope that the Supreme Court would validate Yusuf’s mandate at the poll.
“As regards the various cases at the tribunal and Appeal Court and judgment therein against NNPP’s Gov. Abbah Kabir Yusuf, it is my hope and belief that the supreme Court will not only ensure justice to all manner of people brought before it but shall ensure that justice is done to him and NNPP under the avoidable circumstances.
“It is in the public that NNPP won the governorship election and other elections flatly and overwhelmingly in the last governorship election, therefore there is nothing to worry about.
“The supreme Court definitely shall resolve this matter to the glory of God and Abbah Kabir Yusuf who is a child of God and destiny,” Aniebonam added.
Aniebonam said that, as the founder and life member of the NNPP Board of Trustees, he was constrained to declare order in the party, saying any member acting against the norms of the constitution must stop.
“The unconstitutional and unauthorised pronouncements arising from the internal crisis of the party shall be addressed soonest and after the Supreme Court judgment.
“Kwankwasiyya movement is an ideology of persons and for the welfare of the greater numbers of the poor masses and indeed very peaceful group and law abiding citizens of Nigeria.
“It is my hope that NNPP and its affiliate bodies shall continue to keep the peace of the society even at a time of extreme provocation.
“Let’s keep faith with the Supreme Court to do justice and to the glory of God, mankind, society, Gov. Abbah Kabir Yusuf, NNPP, democracy in Nigeria and even to the dead,” he said. (NAN)