PROFESSOR Rufai Ahmed Alkali. a former national chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Senator Sulaiman Othman Hunkuyi, candidate of the NNPP in the March 18 governorship election in Kaduna State, have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
National chairman of the APC, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, received them into the party, on Tuesday.
Prof. Bem Angwe, a former national legal adviser of the NNPP and Benue State governorship candidate, alongside 23 others from the NNPP and PDP also joined the ruling party.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Alkali said they didn’t join the APC because it is the ruling party, but that having left the NNPP, the APC remained the best vehicle if they must make progress politically.
“Today, we have all decided to move forward with the APC. In our view, with the new mood in the country, both His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the new leadership of the party under your able and distinguished Chairmanship, both of you veteran politicians, APC has shifted the gear and you have also opened a new page in the history of party politics in the country that is more welcoming and more accommodating.
“The good news we are bringing to you and to the APC today is that we are here just as representatives of the multitude of hundreds of thousands of our supporters, friends, associates and well wishers within the NNPP and PDP nationwide who were earnestly waiting for this historic day.
“As the events of today come to an end, we shall all go back to our respective states, local government areas and our wards to commence the mop up operations to ensure that no one is left behind in this great journey of salvaging our nation. This will happen and APC shall be celebrated under Your Excellency’s watch,” he said.
In his remarks, Ganduje said the NNPP has been hijacked and polluted by what he termed an association called Kwankwasiya, and pledged that the defectors would be given a level-playing field and carried along in the scheme of things in the APC.