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Why NNPP is open to talks with other opposition parties – Ali

The New Nigeria People’s Party, under the chairmanship of Abba Kawu Ali, while fielding questions from newsmen, expresses concerns regarding the Court of Appeal judgement in Kano state, their interest to collaborate with other parties and on the general wellbeing of their party. EMEKA NZE was there

Before the 2023 general election, the issue of merger came up, your party was approached. Your national leader asked other parties to queue behind him. He was not willing to step down his ambition as presidential candidate. What are your conditions this time?

Regarding the collaboration we are proposing, we are yet to reach the stage. In fact, even the merger or alliance we are now proposing has not actually commenced. All that we are saying is that any party that has national interest is welcome.

Do you think the merger you are proposing is coming at the appropriate time when the elections were already concluded and whatever alliance you form now will it have the necessary effect?

The issue of starting very early I think we started in a good time because merger process or coming together or what have you in a political party is not a two, three month process. Each and every individual political party would have to make their consultations in various meetings and what have you before they come up with a position. So to tell you that we mean business and that we are serious, that is why we started very early. By starting very early that doesn’t mean that we just want to conclude, maybe, this year or middle of next year but to start anything in a good time is a good one. We just started the process of opening our doors for discussions and other things like that. As for now nothing has started but we have opened our doors. We are expecting a other parties, the 18 political parties in Nigeria to approach us for discussion . After the discussion that’s when we release another statement on our position.. so we cannot say anything now until such thing happens. I think we are good to go. We are okay, we are open for any discussions.

What are you doing to resolve the issue of crack or crisis in your party?

Each time I hear about crack or crisis in the party, I always inform you that we don’t have crisis in the party. You can see for yourself, there is no crack anywhere. Of course, for instance, you got married, you have a wife and your wife left you, then you said I’m going back to see where she is, it means you still don’t know where you are doing. We do not have that crack in the party.

Recently the NNPP has been parading new faces as members of the NWC. Can you tell us the procedure through which they emerged? Did you elect or appoint them?

The issue of our new faces. Four days ago if you can observe the faces here, Out national secretary was here with us, the Deputy national chairman was here with us. As I’m talking to you now the national secretary is with the Channels TV and. The Deputy National Chairman travelled to Anambra for the same party assignment yesterday and we prepared our mind for this press conference yesterday morning . Most of the members of our NWC, you may probably know few of them. Some stay in Ibadan, some.are in Lagos, some are in Bauchi, Borno. Sometimes when we call emergency meeting like this, some will send their apologies, so you will hardly see a complete house of members of the NWC. In our last meeting, even, the National Liaison Officer, they we not here. The national Liaison officer was in Kano and he was also in Jos for the same party assignment . All these people that you meet here we follow the same due process. We had our national convention. If you want, we will release the video. Also go to INEC record, all the members sitting here, you can google our names right away in your handset and you see all our names, including myself the acting national chairman. The truth is that at a certain age life you want to give birth to the young ones that would take over from you. Should I now be right to say what you are seeing now is a kind of dynamic position of the party growing and growing. If someone stays in one place over and over, the question now will be: are you growing or retrogressing? I repeat, we do not have crack, we are a political party or association, you can come in today, and choose to leave tomorrow. 

It seems there is no going back on the resolve of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to take Kano because the National Chairman of the party Ganduje hails from there. What are you doing to retain the mandate you claimed you got from the people and why is your national leader not speaking out on this?

I think the Kano people have a right to make their choice and their choice has been so clear. They voted overwhelmingly for an NNPP governorship candidate, His Excellency Abba Yusuf, and there are no two ways about it. Whether APC national chairman is from there or not is an after thought. The issue is the electorate, democracy which we can all define what it is. So when the people have spoken, I think the best thing is for the government or whosoever is in authority to allow the voice of the people to prevail. 

On the issue that our national leader is not speaking out, I think you may know that, sometimes, it is not always good to rush and start making speeches here and there. At the appropriate time, he will say something and Nigerians will really know that somebody has spoken, that a man of honour has spoken.  In the last election, just look at the hierarchy of APC and you understand why they are so desperate. The then president Muhammadu Buhari, in the presidential election, lost his state to PDP, the current President who was then a presidential candidate, lost Lagos state to Labour party, the then National Chairman of APC Adamu lost his state to Labour Party, the Director General of their campaign organisation, Lalong lost his state to PDP, now their current National Chairman Ganduje from Kano lost all the seats in the elections in Kano to NNPP. Now let’s go to Kano, in the first election, February 25, there were three elections presidential, senatorial and House of Reps. APC lost the three elections. Senator Kwankwaso defeated Tinubu roundly in Kano, out of the three senators, NNPP has two, out of 24 House of Reps, we have 18, and the House of Assembly about 40 of them, we have 26. They are very very unpopular as a party in the APC. So that explains why they want to get these things back through the back door. They want to get Kano, that’s their dream. The other time they got a ruling giving them Plateau state that Lalong lost in the main election. So you now know why they are so desperate because they are so unpopular. What they could not get through the ballot box, they want to get through the court and that is why Nigerians should watch it. Elections are expected to be won through the ballot box, not through the court. That is why Nigerians should be worried. Some Nigerian have been talking. They should see it not as an NNPP affair. In the case of the National Leader of NNPP not talking, the national leader was a presidential candidate. Abba Kabir Yusuf is a member of NNPP and that is why NNPP is the one addressing you today. He is our governor, it has nothing to to do with Senator Kwankwaso. Alhaji Abba Yusuf is governor on the platform of NNPP and that’s why we are addressing the press today to let the world know what is happening and to put judiciary on notice to wake up because what is happening is laughable. We don’t want to go to the nitty gritty of the rulings which a lot of Nigerians have been commenting on. We leave that to Nigerians and we want to let them know that this thing is beyond NNPP.

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