March 16, 2023

Presidential Election: We‘re studying reports, will go to Court soon – NNPP

By Henry Umoru

THE New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP has reiterated its total rejection of the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC that declared the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the winner of the Saturday 25th February, 2023 Presidential election.

According to the NNPP, it was brainstorming with its  legal team that are gathering the necessary  Information and evidences with a view to coming up with the next line of action, just as it stressed that it would meet up with the stipulated time to file against the declared results in line with the 2022 Electoral Act as amended. 

He said that the party would meet up with the seven days for all parties to file their cases.

Addressing Journalists on Thursday in Abuja, NNPP National Chairman, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali said that as a party,  it was still studying the outcome of the February 25th presidential election to make informed decision on the way forward and that the NNPP would not rush into filing a suit at the tribunal over the election.

Alkali who explained that the NNPP was discussing with its lawyers to arrive at a holistic position, said, “We are still talking to our lawyers and they will advise us on the way forward.  We are gathering the details of the election results from polling units to polling units. Our lawyers should know what we need to do. We don’t do grandstanding.”

Professor Alkali also took a swipe at those who engaged in street protests especially by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP after filing a case at the tribunal over the outcome of the election.

The NNPP National Chairman who warned its Governorship candidates and State Houses of Assembly against surrendering its party structure for others ahead of this Saturday’s Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections, said that the party would sanction any of such a member who contravenes the constitution of the party. 

The NNPP declared that as a party, it was not in alliance with any political party in the gubernatorial elections taking place on Saturday in 28 states, just as it said that it will not surrender its structures to anybody outside the NNPP 

According to Alkali wherever their candidates are they must be firm and resist all forms of rigging, saying, “We are calling on our candidates to stand firm because we are not in alliance with any political parties. 

“Wherever our candidates are, they should not align with any political party. We have a vision. That is why our political party emerged. No one should surrender our structure. Anyone that did that, there will be consequences.

“We want to call on our people that voted in the last election to come out and vote again in the gubernatorial election because it is not just for the national level but the state is also important. 

Debunking reports that their gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Olanrewaju Jim-Kamal, stepped down for Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC, Alkali who described it as false, said,, “Those who are crying that they have been rigged out are also master riggers. It is not good for a thief to call a thief a thief,” Alkali said while 

“Olarenwaju did not endorse Sanwo-Olu. We will not support privatization of loyalty. Our party wants to grow by gaining more and winning more states. We will not surrender our structure “

Alkali who noted that  he is happy that there was  no report accusing the NNPP of engaging in rigging or violence,  said that  the party is approaching the election to set the pace for the future of the country, adding, “Whatever choices Nigerians make, it is a good choice and the NNPP has not only transformed, but has been transformed for national development. Before the 2023 election, we only had a State House of assembly seat in Bauchi.  We have not clocked one year but we’ve been shaking the ground. Those who took Kwankwaso for granted and were making efforts to make him irrelevant, before 2023, they were the ones that came looking for him desperately at the last hour. 

“Today, the party has done well in the national assembly elections. Very soon, we will get the full details.  We are ready for the gubernatorial elections. The blur logo used by INEC in the ballot paper affected our members in voting even though INEC approved a logo that was clear. 

“We have  written to INEC to do everything possible to correct this anormalie. Ballot paper of 18 political parties should not be too much. Most of the voters are either illiterate or voting for the first time. If the logo is not clear, it will affect them in making informed choices,” Alkali said, adding that even though there were cases of violence targeted at their party and supporters, their  presidential candidate Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso attacked and about 11 people were killed even before the election, in the last election, an APC candidate led thugs to kill our members and the issue is in court. 

“We are worried because this election is a unique election. Some governors are running for second term or they want to impose their candidates on the people. 

“I believe the security agencies should be aware. What legitimizes the election is free and fair. Citizens should not be induced or intimidated to vote. These governors will not work but at the last hour, haven’t starved the people they will now want to induce voters,” 

Alkali expressed  joy  that Senator  Rufai Sani Hanga has collected his certificate of return from INEC to represent Kano Central Senatorial District and not former governor of the State, Sen Ibrahim Shekarau whom he said the certificate of return was not meant for him.”

On the proposed government of national unity by the President-elect, Asiwaju  Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC, Alkali said it will not be fair to talk on rumour when every party is in court.