Professor Ahmed Rufai Alkali Nationwide Chairman of New Nigeria’s Folks’s Social gathering (NNPP) on this interview with choose journalists in Abuja explains causes for the breakdown of negotiations between his occasion and the Labour Social gathering (LP), purpose for the latest exit of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau from the occasion, amongst different points. EMEKA NZE brings excerpts…
What circumstances led to the exit of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau and his supporters from the NNPP? Secondly, are you having a alternative for his ticket within the Kano Central senatorial district?
Firstly, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau is a extremely revered citizen of this nation. He was a two time period governor, he was a minister. He’s nonetheless a sitting senator. It’s true that we’ve got heard within the pages of newspaper that he has left the occasion however we’ve got not acquired any formal letter from him that he has left the occasion. We’ve got heard that he has left the occasion, there should be a purpose why he left. We, as a celebration, we respect his resolution to depart the occasion. All people does one thing for a goal. Subsequently if he has purpose to depart the occasion, we as a celebration is not going to like to have interaction in pointless controversy on why he left. We additionally consider that democracy may be very dynamic, the problems are very dynamic and that the occasion is rising and there’s no manner as we develop like this, you can’t have this sort of factor taking place. However at the least, we’ve got mentioned we’re not going to have interaction in altercations why he left. All we will say is we want him luck and the occasion will assessment the state of affairs and take applicable actions in regards to the standing of his place in NNPP.
With the good thing about hindsight, may you give perception why your talks with Labour Social gathering didn’t sail by way of?
Firstly, I would like you to grasp that there are three or 4 ranges a celebration can increase and develop. One is the standard mobilisation of particular person members approaching their very own or by way of teams to affix the occasion. The second is what we name the merger, the place two or extra political events might resolve to type a merger. However INEC has customary guidelines to implement. Chances are you’ll discover all fusion or merger have been executed and concluded by twenty eighth of February after which 1st March the place each political occasion that was considering of merger will need to have concluded their preparations for congresses nationwide. So there’s no extra room for merger. However as a result of the language of our discourse is widespread after 1st of March this yr, no room for merger of any political occasion. The second model is what we name coalition and this coalition is quite common in parliamentary democracies. You recognize you can’t type a authorities underneath parliamentary authorities until you might have majority within the parliament. So typically, as we’re having in Britain up to now 5 years after they have been having deep disaster, they’ve been having problem in forming majority to type authorities. Subsequently, whether or not they prefer it or not, they must do some kind of coalition with different smaller political events even when they don’t agree on so many issues simply to type what is named a Hand Parliament. In a presidential system like Nigeria, we don’t want a majority within the parliament to type authorities however each occasion need to have a confirmed majority since you need your legal guidelines and different issues to move by way of with out the form of rigidity within the parliament. The one possibility out there then is what we name Alliances. Alliances once more are fashioned – Lose Alliances or Robust Alliances- these alliances can solely be fashioned on the idea of shared beliefs, shared visions, shared dedication. Subsequently, NNPP proper from the start, we’ve got no any considering that we will shut our doorways. NNPP believes that Nigeria wants the very best, Nigeria wants a brand new management that can change the path of what’s taking place. All people is indignant, all people is sad. At present, when you say you’re proud of what is occurring in Nigeria, you should be a stranger, you could have come from one other planet. So the occasion was desirous of sustaining contact with any group or affiliation in any respect that additionally share our beliefs. We’ve got resisted to talk particularly on this challenge (breakdown of alliance talks). One factor I do know for positive since they’ve already spoken within the press on this challenge, we will additionally point out it. There was a technical group that was fashioned 3-3 on each side however not on the occasion degree. It was extra like an exploratory group to debate on the final points on how we will work collectively for the betterment of our nation. It’s a gaggle of extremely revered residents that they need to sit down and have a look at all of the crucibles. Our considering was that after they could have completed these preliminary talks and there are settlement on ideas on beliefs and dedication, then the occasion will transfer in now formally by way of the opposite processes of alliances. Now keep in mind at the moment, we had not executed our primaries. we hadn’t executed our full submissions to INEC. So any step you’re taking at the moment will have an effect on your members of Home of Meeting, Home of Reps, Senate, governorship and President. So it’s not one thing that’s executed casually. However it appeared that the entire argument ended about presidency. So what we understood is three issues: One, when the discussions began, it was solely on one merchandise and I need to say with all sense of accountability, NNPP went for that negotiations with an open thoughts, with out nothing to lose however we knew that we’ve got the constructions, we had the personnel, we had members, we’ve got leaders who can lead this nation very properly earlier than we mentioned let’s speak. From what we heard, together with from a few of our members who have been individuals, what occurred was that Labour Social gathering mentioned they needed our chief Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to concede presidency to them. That was the one merchandise on the agenda, that’s one-item agenda, no option-option. That Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso ought to step down as a presidential candidate of the NNPP and give up that to Peter Obi. That is just one merchandise for the eight hours they met. There was no different factor mentioned. In reality, one of many Labour Social gathering members mentioned to us: “We concede that Kwankwaso is an effective man, we concede that he’s a strongman, we concede that he’s a extremely popular man however actually that is the time of the Southeast, you simply give us that seat”. I’m telling you the reality as a result of I’m not going to sentence Peter Obi, I’ve excessive respect for him, the occasion has excessive respect for him however that is the primary time we’re opening up on this matter. So you could possibly see it’s one merchandise agenda, no option-option. Secondly, instantly the dialog began, they put it in social media. Usually, if you find yourself negotiating, you additionally enable the method to proceed to succeed in a degree of maturity then you’ll be able to sit down collectively and challenge an announcement, whether or not you agree otherwise you don’t agree after which take a call and inform the Nigerian those that that is what will occur. However no. Even earlier than a few of us occasion leaders knew what was taking place, already the social media was agog that there negotiations between NNPP and the Labour Social gathering and I believed this isn’t the way in which to drive a system on this nation if you wish to get the very best out of it. Usually if in case you have a negotiation on the dedication to the way forward for our nation, it’s not going to be that it’s damaged down, it may be stalemated, you too can enable discussions to proceed till such a time when each associate within the negotiation will get win-win or non-lose state of affairs. Once more it was the Labour occasion which previously introduced to the press that negotiations broke down on seventeenth of June 2022, we didn’t say something. So if any individual is the one beating the drum, he’s the one who’s dancing and he’s the one saying that each the music and the dance usually are not good. That’s why you see that NNPP is a really critical political occasion. We’ve got respect for our leaders. I had the privilege to work with Peter Obi, very carefully, I do know he’s additionally an achiever. I consider Labour Social gathering, sure, it has its personal points, it’s additionally a political occasion within the rating. However technically talking, the idea for these discussions haven’t been given the chance to mature in order that Nigerians can profit. And once more keep in mind after the announcement that the discussions have damaged down, nonetheless the occasion didn’t challenge an announcement both to castigate NNPP or castigate Labour occasion. Nonetheless NNPP is desirous of working with anyone who’s desirous of bringing lasting peace on this nation.
Does NNPP consider in a single Nigeria ? In case you do, how come the management of the occasion is tilted one place? Associated to that, Buhari has nearly eight years in workplace, and Kwankwaso additionally from the north desires to mount the saddle, does this tackle the divisiveness we’ve got witnessed on this nation in latest time? Once more what’s tackle the only destiny ticket?
Firstly, NNPP for the avoidance of doubt, shouldn’t be an extension of APC. Subsequently If APC has their structure, they’ve their manifesto, they’ve their code of conduct, they’ve their management construction, they’ve the way in which they run their occasion and authorities, it’s their very own enterprise, it has nothing to do with NNPP. So no matter occurs, NNPP like different 18 political events, they’re there for Nigerians. They’ve their very own structure, they’ve their manifesto, they’ve their code of conduct, they’ve the whole lot, They function as impartial political occasion and subsequently NNPP can’t inherit any extra baggage from from any political occasion. That’s the truth. Secondly the difficulty of single destiny, we as a celebration suppose that that debate is diversionary. What issues at this time is that any political occasion that’s contesting election for 2023 needs to be requested what they have you ever executed for Nigerians over that final years you’re there. These are important questions. What have you ever executed in schooling? What have you ever executed on safety? What have you ever executed concerning the financial system? That’s the most basic challenge. Debating and dancing across the single religion and no single religion, such as you mentioned, is trite and these are irrelevant, it’s diversionary, it’s pointless, it additionally tends to confuse Nigerians as a result of within the historical past of this nation, up until now, no single religion management however have they actually berthed? Does it imply that as a result of you might have completely different religion and you’re operating a authorities and also you fail, does it make it any higher for the peculiar residents. So I feel it can’t dictate to any occasion to find out their operating mate and who shouldn’t be their operating mate. However what we all know in NNPP is that we an inclusive political occasion, no section or tradition of this nation will likely be alienated or remoted or relegated to the background, that’s crucial challenge.
Speaking concerning the challenge of construction of our occasion, someday we on this nation are additionally very humorous. If in case you have not forgotten, manner again in 1995, there was a structure convention that was held however it was not consummated. However one of many main achievements at the moment was the difficulty of rotation, zoning energy shift and federal character. Nevertheless, a few of these points have been included informally however within the structure, they aren’t there however they’ve now develop into a part of the political administration of this nation. So if you divide the county into six zones, it implies that each zone has a official proper to be a part of the political course of. So there isn’t any legislation after they say you might have six zones and also you come again to say you might have north and south. Whether it is north and south, then it means that you’ve got now jettisoned the difficulty of the six zones and that’s why the whole lot that’s executed, from the political events, from the Nationwide Meeting, from the tiers of presidency, even from auxiliary associations and businesses, there’s at all times representations of zoning and the remainder of it. Subsequently, no matter occurs, NNPP is aware of its tasks, that’s the reason after we are electing the deputy nationwide chairman, for instance, he’s from the southeast, if you taking the BOT chairman, he’s from the South East. When you might have the complete complement of the Exco, the monetary secretary is from South South, Nationwide Auditor is from South West, Nationwide Secretary is from South West. In reality, the place of the nationwide chairman shouldn’t be crucial place as a result of there are literally people who find themselves the operators who’re a part of the system, the nationwide publicity secretary is from north central, the nationwide authorized adviser is north central. There isn’t a zone that’s not represented on this occasion and that’s why after we speak, we discuss Nigeria, we don’t have a look at these diversionary points. What’s necessary is that so far as we’re involved, we’re aware of zoning. That’s why after we have been speaking about operating mate, it went South South. Edo deserves to be represented, and they’re represented now by a person who can stand his floor anyplace in help of our nation. I need to repeat: NNPP shouldn’t be an extension of APC. Subsequently in the event that they run for eight years or 20 years or for 30 years, that’s their very own enterprise as a result of they didn’t seek the advice of us for the primary time period or for the second time period.