By Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis
The crisis rocking the leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party has taken a new twist following a move by the faction of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to amend the party’s constitution and logo.
The decision to amend the constitution was confirmed during an exclusive interview with the National Auditor of NNPP, Ladipo Johnson.
The development is coming three days after the faction of the party under the leadership of Major Agbo expelled the presidential candidate of NNPP for alleged anti-party activities and misappropriation of party campaign funds.
Kwankwaso’s expulsion was announced in a statement released on Tuesday by the NNPP’s factional National Publicity Secretary, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq.
Abdulrasaq affirmed that the decision to expel Kwankwaso with immediate effect was taken after he failed to appear before the disciplinary panel to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.
The expulsion of the former Kano governor caused disaffection within the party and saw chieftains from opposition camps trading blame.
A few days after the drama, Saturday PUNCH findings revealed that there was a subtle move by the Kwankwaso camp to amend the logo and constitution allegedly to weaken the grip of the NNPP founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam.
Although the development was confirmed by Johnson who was the chairman of the disciplinary committee that expelled some factional members of the party a few weeks ago, the national auditor, however, denied the move was a response to the emergence of a faction within the NNPP.
“No, it has nothing to do with any faction. It was something we already discussed at the NEC. Unlike them (Agbo faction), we are serious people. But we haven’t changed the logo yet. We are planning to throw it out there for our members to compete and come up with ideas,” he said.
Reacting, acting National Chairman of the faction, Major Agbo, told our correspondent that they were aware of the subtle move which they believed was directed at removing the immunity of the founder.
He said, “Obviously, the proposed amendment to the constitution and changing of logo they are talking about was deliberate. That was because they discovered suddenly that the man they are after (the founder) has immunity by the provision of that constitution. That’s why they are in a hurry to amend it.”