A chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the South-West, Alhaji Abass Akande Onilewura has blamed a former presidential candidate of the party, Rabiu Kwankwaso for the loss of Kano governor, Yusuf Abba at the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
Onilewura insisted that Kwankwaso sold out NNPP to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to negotiate for a ministerial slot in the President Bola Tinubu-led government.
Ripples Nigeria reports that the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, had on Wednesday, sacked Abba, and declared the APC candidate, Nasir Gawuna, winner of the March 18 governorship poll.
The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, also withdrew the Certificate of Return the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented to Yusuf.
According to the panel, the margin of votes scored by NNPP was invalid and not in compliance with the 2022 electoral act.
The judges deducted 165,663 votes from the NNPP, adding that the ballot papers of the 165,663 were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.
Onilewura, in a statement on Thursday evening, said the loss of the party in Kano corroborated the anti-party allegation raised against Kwankwaso, stressing that the former NNPP flagbearer’s alleged involvement in anti-party activities led to the big loss the party is facing with the declaration of the Tribunal in Kano.
He also stated that Kwankwaso did not follow due process in the selection of some of the governorship candidates for the party, which reportedly led to the filing of unpopular or unacceptable flagbearers.
“This loss is a big one for us at NNPP and it only happened because of the selfishness of Kwankwaso who sold the party to the highest bidder.
“While we are still waiting for the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment, it is important for the world to know that this would not have happened if Kwankwaso had allowed due process and given the ticket to the most qualified candidate but his inlaw.
“Our investigation also showed that the continuous engagement of Kwankwaso with APC at some point gave room for them to discover loopholes which were later used against the Kano governor to secure victory for the opposition.
“It is unfortunate that some of us sweat to get the party to where it is today, only for someone like Kwankwaso to come and make all our efforts a waste. We are happy that someone like that has been expelled from this great party.
“We also want to use the avenue to warn him to stay clear of NNPP, we don’t want a betrayal in our party and we would do anything humanly possible to secure our party from hijackers who are more concerned about personal gain.
“I will also urge our members across the country to remain calm because a new leadership has taken over the party and we would do everything to restore the glory of our party. NNPP will come out to become a strong voice and opposition that would stand for justice, equity, and good governance”, he said.
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