The National Peace Committee of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has charged the National Working Committee (NWC) to withdraw its expulsion order on the party’s founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam.
The committee also recommended that the NWC should write a letter of apology to Aniebonam for the obvious act of indiscretion inherent in the expulsion order.
The Rabiu Kwankwaso-led faction of the party expelled the party’s founder and Chairman of its Board of Trustees (BoT), Mr Boniface Aniebonam, alongside some other members in August.
It accused the BoT chairman and the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Agbo Major and others of anti-party activities and declared that their expulsion was with immediate effect.
Chairman of the party’s National Peace Committee, Mr Azubike Anazor, stated in Lagos on Sunday, however, that Aniebonam deserved due honour at all times because he is the founder of the party.
He added that Aniebonam provided the platform for the various contests in which the party engaged in at the 2023 general elections.
The chairman stated also that NNPP’s Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abba Ali, should broker an urgent meeting between Aniebonam and Kwankwaso.
He added that follow-up meetings should be held between the duo thereafter, to the exclusion of a third party.
According to him, this will induce confidence and herald a return to constitutionality, order and democratic rule in the party.
Anazor stated also that the NWC and the National Executive Committee should suspend any move to amend or recommend amendments to any provisions of the party’s Constitution.
He stressed that they should shelve such amendments geared toward effecting changes to innocuous issues like evolving a new logo for the party.
“Amendments intended to detract from or whittle down the powers of any organ of the party as presently constituted can only engender bad blood and deepen suspicion of hijack of the party from its founders.
“This type of development cannot conduce to the required peace, unity and oneness of the party as desired by its teeming supporters.
“All hostile press conferences, press releases and television interviews that seek to escalate the crisis should be put on hold.
“NNPP is out to provide Nigerians with credible opposition, presently, and to urgently position itself for massive victories at all levels at the 2027 general elections.
“It can only attain these goals if it remains united and enlarges its membership, and not by suspensions, expulsions and exclusionary policies and actions,’’ Anazor stated.
He added that the National Peace Committee was able to decipher the real issues of controversy between the warring parties which had unfortunately been allowed to fester, threatening the corporate existence of the party itself.
He stressed that the issues included alleged moves by the Presidential Candidate and National Leader, Kwankwaso to hijack the party; emasculate its founding fathers and replace them with the “Kwankwasiyya’’ group.
According to him, part of the scheme, it was alleged, is the proposed amendment of the Constitution to whittle down the powers of the Board of Trustees, and the BOT Chairman and founder of the party.
He added that a counter-allegation was that some leaders in the old and defunct NNPP had been massively compromised by the opposition political party in Kano State to discredit Kwankwaso.
This, it was said, was with the aim of reducing Kwankwaso’s influence in the NNPP.
Anazor stated also that the “expelled’’ party executives in the states were alleging lack of fair hearing in their suspension and subsequent expulsion.
He added that the committee discovered that the recent purported expulsion of Aniebonam from the party was considered by his supporters as an affront of unequal proportions.
Anazor added that the expulsion of Aniebonam was a flagrant overthrow of the NNPP Constitution since the said Constitution confers “Life Membership’’ on him in the party’s BoT.