The national leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party has said Yabuku Shendam is not the party’s National Publicity Secretary and, therefore, cannot speak for the party, including the rumoured merger plan with other political parties.
The NNPP National Chairman, Dr Major Agbo, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said that Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq remained the party’s National Publicity Secretary.
He said, “We insist he is not a card-carrying member of our party but probably the spokesman of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s Kwankwasiya group.”
The chairman was reacting to a recent statement by Mr Shendam on the reported call by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party for a merger among opposition parties to wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress in 2027.
He said that Mr Shendam was quoted as saying that “The NNPP could only accept the proposal if Mr Atiku would support Mr Kwankwaso to wrest power from the APC in 2027.”
Mr Agbo described Mr Shendam as speaking for Mr Kwankwaso, whom he said had long been expelled from the party by the NNPP Board of Trustees.
“The BoT, in its meeting on August 28, had expelled Mr Kwankwaso, and the decision was ratified by the National Convention of August 29 in Lagos due to anti-party activities and other serious infractions.
“Kwankwaso is no longer a member of our party; he cannot be its presidential candidate in 2027, and Shendam needs to know this,” he said.
Mr Agbo said the party was not, however, averse to any proposition that could bring true dividends of democracy to ordinary Nigerians.
“Every Nigerian is interested in having a true democracy that is all-inclusive; what we have now is far from democracy. So, if there is a proposition by opposition elements to ensure that democracy is installed, why not? However, that proposition must be given good thought and considered by the founder and other founding members of our party,” he said.
He said that such a proposition must also be considered by the National Working Committee led by him and not by Mr Kwankwaso and his Kwankwassiya group.
Mr Agbo added: “Anything that will make Nigerians witness democracy is accepted, but our certificate is independent. Our certificate cannot be subsumed into any other as being imagined by Mr Kwankwaso, Buba Galadima, Mr Shendam, and their Kwankwassiya group, who are no longer members of our party.”
He said the party leadership, though aware that there was a need to canvass for support from people and other political parties to win the election, believed that, single-handedly, the NNPP could deliver Nigeria in 2027 through a credible candidate.
He said that opposition party leaders might wish to join the NNPP as the party walks towards rescuing Nigeria in 2027.
“At the moment, we are not considering any merger, and if there will be any form of alliance (certainly not a merger) at all, it should be with the NNPP, because Mr Atiku is now retiring. So, he should support our party to enthrone dependable leadership come 2027,” he said.
The leadership crisis rocking the NNPP started when a group loyal to its founder and BOT chairman, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, suspended the party’s presidential candidate, Mr Kwankwaso.
Similarly, a faction loyal to Mr Kwankwaso also announced the expulsion of some national officers over alleged anti-party activities.