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QuickRead: Crisis hits NNPP. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was hit by crisis last week following the suspension of the former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for holding talks with leaders of rival political parties in the country.

This and four other stories we tracked dominated public discourse last week.

1. Crisis hits NNPP

On August 29, the NNPP Board of Trustees (BoT) suspended the former governor for alleged anti-party conduct. The BoT also suspended the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and appointed Dr. Agbo Major as acting national chairman.

However, a faction in the party loyal to Kwankwaso regrouped in Abuja and expelled Major and several others who took part in the BoT meeting held in Lagos.
The party’s National Auditor, Ladipo Johnson, confirmed Major and other officials’ expulsion in a statement in Abuja.

The statement read: “At the National Executive Committee meeting of the NNPP held in Abuja today August 29, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, Agbo Major and several others were expelled from the party.

“The NEC also moved several other motions relating to the Logo of the party, the Amendment of the constitution, ratification of the State caretaker committees, and the suspension of two Articles in the constitution of the NNPP 2022.”

Why it matters

The crisis in the NNPP and other smaller political parties illustrates the problems associated with parties or associations hurriedly put together to contest elections or displace an established order.

The differences in opinions and principles will constantly precipitate divisions that will ultimately lead to serious implosion, especially if the desires to seize the instrument of control are placed on the front burner and allowed to dictate the actions of various elements in the group.

2. Obaseki and Shaibu’s feud deepens

The Edo State government on August 28 disbanded the media crew attached to the Office of the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.

This came a few hours after Shaibu walked out of the venue of the 60th anniversary of the Midwest referendum organized by the state government in Benin City.

In a statement issued by the state’s Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, the government said the Ministry of Communication and Orientation would henceforth cover the deputy governor’s activities.

The statement read: “Edo State Government has disbanded the media crew attached to the Office of the Deputy Governor, with a directive to the Deputy Governor to henceforth request the Ministry of Communication and Orientation for media coverage of activities of his office.”

Why it matters

Despite Shaibu’s public declaration of loyalty to Governor Obaseki, the events of the last few weeks suggest the two men have reached a dead end in their relationship.

The feud which was fallout of the deputy governor’s purported ambition again shows that politics is an interest-driven game, casting light on how a supposed close friendship can quickly be jettisoned when one or both parties appeared to have crossed the line in the quest to grab power.

3. APC sanctions Aregbesola’s associates

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State on August 31 suspended the ex-Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, and 25 other persons for alleged anti-party activities in the state.
This came just 24 hours after the party expelled 84 members for the same reason.
All the suspended members are loyalists of the former minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

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The APC chairman in the state, Tajudeen Lawal, who confirmed the development in a statement in Osogbo, said: “Following complaints of anti-party activities, the State Executive Committee of the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress constituted a Disciplinary Committee to investigate the allegations against some of its members.
“This disciplinary measure came in response to the allegations of misconduct bordering on factionalization of the party and creating a parallel party organ.”

Why it matters

The suspension of the former governor’s associates speaks to the cracks in the Osun State chapter of APC, a development that culminated in its defeat in last year’s governorship election in the state.

It also means the vested groups in the state are yet to put aside their differences and work together in the interest of the party.
This, therefore, suggests that the APC as presently constituted poses no threat to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State and its chances of regaining power in the state come 2026 appear very slim.

4. Falana’s warning to Nigerian politicians

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, on September 1 cautioned the Nigerian political class not to incite mutiny among the citizens.

Falana, who made the call at a National Symposium organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, expressed concern that public officials had continued to spend lavishly while the government asked Nigerians to tighten their belts and bear the burden of the country’s economic problems.

The activist made the call a few hours after soldiers toppled the Gabonese President, Ali Bongo Ondimba. He said: “They (politicians) must be careful not to provoke Nigerians to mutiny. Some of the things going in the National Assembly show that we are in trouble.”

Why it matters

In this season of putsch, the lawyer may have hit the nail on the head on the bad governance that has dragged Nigeria to its knees.

It is timely advice for Nigerian leaders to gird their loin and put smiles on the faces of the citizens who have become victims of bad leadership for the better part of the last decades.

All said the recent military incursions into politics and the celebrations that accompanied such dismantling of democratic institutions in some countries in Africa were expressions of deep-seated anger among the citizens with officials they voted into power.

5. Fasoranti decries division in Afenifere

The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Reuben Fasoranti, on August 31 decried the division in the group. The elder statesman, who spoke during a gathering of the Afenifere members at his home in Akure, Ondo State, said the group was in danger due to the present leadership crisis and urged swift action to address the problem.

He said: “A noticeable drift away from our core values of consultation, brotherliness and camaraderie and traditional process of conducting the business of the organization, upon which our collegial system of leadership is based, has been severely threatened.”

Why it matters

The inability of the Afenifere leaders to speak with one voice has been the group’s greatest problem in the last few years.

The crisis of endorsement that polarized the group in the days leading to the last general election not only the weakened political family but showed that it was still struggling for relevance while its peers were forging a common stand on issues that affect their regions and the people.

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