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Clean Sweep: NNPP Suspends Presidential Candidate Kwankwaso, National Working Committee

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LAGOS, Nigeria — The political landscape of Nigeria was rattled on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, when the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, abruptly suspended its own presidential candidate, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, along with the National Working Committee, NWC.

This decision, announced at a special general assembly in Lagos, has sown discord and raised questions about the unity and direction of the party ahead of future electoral contests.

The NNPP’s BoT Secretary, Babayo Abdulahi, cited “anti-party activities” as the reason for the suspension, which is expected to last six months.

“Kwankwaso was involved in unauthorized political discussions with President Bola Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi,” said Abdulahi.

“This has earned him six months’ suspension pending the outcome of investigation by the Disciplinary Committee.”

In a striking move, the BoT stripped Kwankwaso of his status as the NNPP’s national leader.

They also voided a pre-election Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with various organizations including Kwankwasia Movement, The National Movement, TNM, and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF.

“The NWC’s actions have made this MoU void, showing a level of recklessness and irresponsibility,” Abdulahi added.

Just days earlier, the now-suspended NWC had also announced the suspension of Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, the party’s founder, and the National Publicity Secretary, a man only identified as Major.

“The purported suspension of the founder is a flagrant gross violation of the NNPP constitution,” Abdulahi stated.

Dr. Agbo Major was appointed as the acting National Chairman, Mr. Ogini Olaposi as the acting National Secretary, along with 18 other new officers.

Major pledged to “hit the ground running” in repairing the fractious party environment. “We don’t intend to shut anybody out or censor anybody, but we want to ensure that we remain on track and maintain our people-oriented ideology,” he emphasized.

The internal upheaval within NNPP could have wide-reaching implications, not only for the party but for the Nigerian political spectrum at large.

As one of the younger political organizations, the NNPP’s internal discord may undermine its competitiveness against older, more established parties like the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the PDP.

The decision to suspend Kwankwaso and the NWC was taken by a voice vote at the assembly, which was attended by new NWC members and NNPP party members from across Nigeria.

As the suspensions reverberate through the political corridors of Nigeria, observers await the next moves from a party that has yet to find stable ground in the tumultuous arena of Nigerian politics.

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