Dr Boniface Aniebonam, pioneer National Chairman and founder, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has described the gale of defections into the party as “a manifestation of divine intervention toward giving Nigeria the right leadership”.
Aniebonam told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that that the new entrants were on a mission to rescue Nigeria from “the poor leadership it has suffered over the years”.
“It is NNPP’s divine time to provide leadership in the country. NNPP is going to create a new Nigeria everyone will be proud of,” he told NAN.
The political party has attracted leading politicians including Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Kano governor, defence minister and Ambassador.
Others include Mr Ben Kure, Special Adviser (Political Affairs) to Gov Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna and Ali Makoda, Chief of Staff to Gov Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.
Last week 13 members of the Kano State House of Assembly defected to the NNPP, of the figure, 10 were from the PDP while three were of the APC.
The Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Zubairu Massu, a member of the APC, joined his colleagues and defected to the NNPP on Friday.
A chieftain of the APC in Osun, Mr Muslihudeen Adekilekun, also ran to the NNPP on Saturday along with thousands of his supporters.
With even more high profile defections recorded in the South-East, North-Central and South-South, Sen. Orji Kalu, former Abia governor and APC chieftain, had expressed fear that the trend could spell doom for the ruling APC.
“The high profile defections to NNPP, especially in the North-West geo-political zone, should not be taken for granted by the ruling APC,” Kalu said recently while speaking on the ongoing debate over the geo-political zone the presidency should go to, in 2023.
Expressing fear that the defection could be as a result of the thorny zoning issue, Kalu opined that “the silent majority, who have a working conscience, could protest this injustice by supporting Alhaji Kwankwaso to clinch the presidential seat in 2023 if the APC and the PDP field candidates from any other zone aside South East or North East” .
But Aniebonam told NAN that all that was happening in other political parties was to fulfill the divine destiny of the NNPP that had been in existence for 21 years.
“In its 21 years of existence, the NNPP now has office in all parts of the federation. The party has gradually become a movement all Nigerians must join. Everyone should join the winning team.
“We are the beautiful bride in the north as it is and we hope to expand to all parts of Nigeria as the party to beat,” he said.
He said that the NNPP, being a party with a divine mandate, would ensure that its primaries are fair to all, including to new entrants.
Aniebonam said that the NNPP would transform Nigeria from being a consumption nation to a productive state, to address challenges.
According to him, some of the challenges facing the nation are rooted in the bitter fact that Nigeria is no longer a productive state.
“The fact that we are not a producing nation is responsible for the myriad of problems around the economy and security. It is the cause of unemployment and many other challenges.”
The NNPP founder said the panacea to youth restiveness was to move Nigeria from being a consumption nation to a productive nation.
He said that NNPP was committed to engaging the youth by reviving all moribund companies to gainfully engage the Nigerian youths.
Aniebonam said the party would invest in education and encourage both the learners and educators.
He said that the party would provide right leadership to address most of the current challenges facing the nation.
On women inclusion in politics, Aniebonam said that women were more prudent because of the fear of God, hence the plan of the party to provide them good representation in governance.
Aniebonam, however, regretted that not many women were coming out to contest elective positions, pointing out that power was never served, but taken.
He said that NNPP platform was available for women who wanted to join the movement toward creating a new Nigeria, adding that the cost of nomination and expression of interest forms had been reduced for them.
He said that a woman would be contesting governorship election in Ogun on the NNPP platform.
“What we need to do more now is to empower these women through appointment. With that, they will grow and be able to move in for elections,” he said.(NAN)