The National Chairman of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has said that it took the party 20 years to secure an elective seat in the Bauchi House of Assembly in the 2019 general election.
Aniebonam who disclosed this at a world press conference at the NAGAFF Headquarters in Lagos to mark the survival of the party in the last deregistration exercise carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which saw 74 political parties deregistered stated that the party would have win more seats in Bauchi State but for the daylight robbery that saw the party lose senatorial and House of Representatives seats in the state.
He however said that the party being a firm believer in the rule of law, it instituted an action at the tribunal having been robbed off the Senatorial seat in Bauchi North and then the Federal House of Representatives seat adding that “it is not only that we lost those seats that we won, we spent well over N35 million to secure legal services”, which according to him would have been used for something better and at the end of the day, they lost all that.
He added that for NNPP under his leadership, it was not about what had happened to them in the negative but about what they had learnt as to what happened to them in the negative saying “we believe that when things like this happen, that it is a message and if you are a human being, you will realize that there is a message God sent across to you and the onus is upon you to build on it.”
According to him, “When the incident occurred in Bauchi State, wherein somebody who never contested for election was declared a winner of a senatorial seat so also in the House of Reps, House of Reps, at least, we can manage because that one contested but be that as it may, when the going gets tough, the tough keeps going and you change your tactics. We may not allow in any other election that kind of rigging especially where we know that we have the opportunity or the strength to win an elective position.”
Aniebonam who is also the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) however informed that they were beginning a movement to a greater Nigeria where critical people would take interest as according to him, with about 17 political parties in this country, the administration would be much easier than when it was about 94 or over 100.
“That was in their views even though it is constitutional but administratively, it might not be very convenient for INEC. I also want to believe that deregistration of some of these political parties may not be the end. To that extent, new political parties can still be registered as I don’t think there is anything wrong with that but then you have a mandate and that mandate is to win an elective position otherwise, you will be standing in as a confusionist. So, New Nigeria People’s Party will take it from here”, he added.
While calling on the members of the political party including the media practitioners who he said had reported the activities of the party in the last 20 years to consider using the platform of NNPP to test their popularity in the political arena, he also called on the maritime practitioners to key into the platform provided by the party to correct the ills of the industry as that was the only way they could make their voices heard.
In his words, “So, nothing stops you from today to indicate interest in politics by going back to your state or local government, the whole of you that are here, I do know that when we get back to our villages, we are different people, you may not be recognized in Lagos here but in your village you are known. And how do you add value to the greatness of our country? It is to go to your area of recognition so that you can begin from that place and then move up to the national level. All of us here have the potentials to make it.
“It is in this regard also, that I use the opportunity to call on all persons in the maritime transport and logistics services, shipping and indeed customs certification, now the difference here is that for those of us who found ourselves at the entry points of this country, indeed, we all know the slogan of the Nigerian Ports Authority as the gateway of the nation’s economy, if that is the case, the operators at those gateways has so much to do with the economy. If there is a concerted effort for many of us to find ourselves in National Assembly, and the State Assemblies, I think we will be making more impact in trying to address the issues at the gateways. If we don’t, we will continue to complain because those who are there may not understand what you are talking about.”
He continued, “The essence of multi-party system in our country, again, I need to emphasize that those who made that legislative instrument, they knew why. It is just to make sure that you have a space to test your popularity and so, one begin to wonder why people struggle in a political party to the extent that they harm themselves. It means something is wrong, that those who are doing this have nothing to offer for the reason that they know that they cannot win election in a normal circumstance because if they do, they don’t need to fight and that is why you should respect people like Ifeanyi Ubah who took on YPP and he won a senatorial seat. Whichever way he did that, the court will decide but for the fact that he took responsibility other than being where one thought he will be, he went and tested his popularity.
“So, also in our own case in Bauchi State, the young men that vowed to do things on their own and they succeeded. Unfortunately, the system did not allow them but it is my hope that Mr. President of the Federal Republic, his attention should be drawn to issue of this nature. One, it is on record that he was a victim of this kind of situation but to God be the glory, after all he went through, he still became the President of the Federal Republic. In other words, the expectation of the New Nigeria People’s Party on the part of Mr. President is that all those obstacles he went through, we will expect that by the end of his second tenure 2023, let him make sure that a level playing field is created in this country for the greater numbers so that those who can really administer this country will emerge. A lot of them are there but the environment is not too good for them more so when you are not a violent person. Politics should not be violence, politics should be ideas.”
On the reason for the gathering, he said, “Our being here today is to celebrate the victory of the New Nigeria People’s Party. Recall that by this time some years back, plus or minus, about 22 political parties were deregistered at that time, we are on. Today again, 74 were deregistered, we are on and I know that deregistration will continue as long as you did not meet the criteria as it were. This is without prejudice to the constitutional provision which is the grand norm of the Federal Republic but electoral guidelines and some other legislation could add value to the conduct of elections in our country.
“We are ever determined to achieve the divine mandate using the platform of the New Nigeria People’s Party to provide Nigeria the greatest leader ever seen in this country. We are moving gradually and God on our side, we will achieve the mandate which is divine and for us to do that, the whole of us here, those who are members of New Nigeria People’s Party and those who have intention to join, you have only one thing to yourself, respect the rules of engagement, obey the law.”
Photo: National Chairman of NNPP, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.
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