The People’s Redemption Party (PRP), the oldest registered political party in Nigeria is one of the platforms to watch in the much awaited 2019 general elections.
To effectively and efficiently tackle the challenges ahead of 2019 general elections, PRP recently held its national delegates conference in Kaduna to deliberate on the wide range of issues on how to strengthen and rejuvenate the party to wrest power from the present occupants.
Balarabe Musa, an elder statesman who chaired the ideological based party for years relinquished his position as the party elected a former managing director of Unity bank, Malam Falalu Bello, as the new national chairman to pilot the affairs of PRP and win elections for the party.
Although, Musa, who was elected PRP Board of Trustees chairman, explained that he stepped down due to advanced age and health challenge.
Just like other political parties, ahead of the forthcoming polls, PRP actors have been strategizing to woo more members and supporters to their camp.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, PRP board of trustee chairman, Balarabe Musa, opined that there is urgent need to change the current negative and state of the nation using PRP manifesto to transform the country for the good of all. He stressed that: “Nothing will change if Nigerians allow the present situation to continue, PRP is the only political party to bring the desired change in this country”.
Cross section of delegates drawn from each state of the federation including federal capital territory, Abuja, who converged on Kaduna for PRP inaugural national delegates conference who spoke with our correspondent said they were battle ready to swing into actions for positive results.
One of the delegates from Kano, Alhaji Aminu Sani, said the PRP will bounce back fully and take over power in 2019 to reposition the country: “With what we have seen here today, we are sure of taking over power in 2019. The delegates came from different parts of the country”, he maintained.
Investigations revealed that many aspirants have picked PRP nomination forms to contest for various positions, including presidency, while others who may not clinch tickets in other political parties during the primaries were said to be planning to move to PRP to actualise their ambitions.
Recall that PRP since its formal registration way back in 1978 has suffered series of registration and de-registration by the military and the apex electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). After de-registration by the INEC for not having Assembly seat, the party became a legally recognized entity again in 2015 when the court ruled in its favour.
During the 54th meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), prior to the conference, Babarabe Musa, announced his exit as the party’s national chairman for a younger person to take over due to his failing health: “Due to declining energy and failing health, it has become necessary for me to vacate the seat for younger and fresher blood.”
Musa expressed his continuous and unflinching support to the party, noting that the new chairman should not just be a young man in age, but someone who is “robustly and combatively committed to all the ideals that our party, the PRP, has always stood for.”
The former governor of the old Kaduna State said he would always be “available for party assignments within the limits of my fading energy and failing health. I thank members for all the support given to me over the years, and I’m pleading with them to render the same support to my successor. There is work to be done and all hands must be on deck.”
Welcoming participants at PRP national delegates conference, Musa said one of the steps to move the party forward was for members to sacrifice to revive for the party so as to compete for power both at the centre and in states.
Musa, a former governor of Kaduna state, urged participants to decide on the constitution of a new board of trustees for the party, adding that the conference shall determine and confirm dates and guidelines for the conduct of the party’s primaries for the election of candidates that would contest elections in 2019.
Musa, in his farewell speech said: “I am greatly delighted to formally convene this gathering of arguably some of the most patriotic and forward looking assemblage of Nigerian citizens who, without doubt can be said to be a gathering of some of the most patriotic citizen of this country”.
“Every political party registered as such by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is required to hold its party convention at ward, local government, state and national levels for the purpose of electing members of its executive committee, approving name of its candidates for local government, state and national elections and electing its delegates to the next level.”
“As a consequent of the series of registration and de-registration by the military and INEC, we have had the onerous task of reorganizing and reviving the structure of the party. On a number of occasions, we have had to do all this in the face of difficult material and organizational circumstances, taking into account these difficulties as well as the timeliness outlined by INEC for the 2019 election, it became obvious to us in the national secretariat that it would be near -impossible for the party to convene its national convention as is stipulated in its extent constitution.”
Musa noted further noted that: “The only obvious practical alternative was to fall back on the provision of section 16 of the PRP constitution. The secretariat of the party recommended that the delegates to the inaugural national delegates conference should be: Existing protem National officers NEC of the party,state chairmen and the state secretaries of the party and members of the party who are not holding any position in the party; taking into consideration federal character.”
“The task before the distinguished delegates that are here gathered is simple. It is not as some may be thinking,to build a new party. Far from it. After all, the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), as well as all know is today the oldest registered political party in Nigeria,having remained active (in one form or another) since its formation and registration way back in 1978.
While speaking further, he noted that: “More specifically, this national delegates conference will be charged to do three basic things. First, to debate and approve some amendments to the party’s basic documents which define not just the PRP’s primary mission and character but also its mode of operation.”
“The second basic task that this conference shall be handling the election of a new national leadership for the party.
“The third critical task that this conference shall be confronted with is the determination and confirmation of dates and guildlines for the conduct of the party’s primaries for the election of candidates that are going to contest the forthcoming 2019 elections on the PRP platform.”
In his remark, the new national chairman and chairman delegates conference, of the party, Alhaji Falau Bello, said the party would be put on a growth trajectory that will enable PRP begin to wrestle power at all level of governance in the country.
However, in a communique issued at the end of the conference, signed by the new PRP national chairman, Alhaji Falalu Bello, national secretary, Babatunde Alli and Assistant national publicity secretary, Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo, said election and appointment of new national officers were ratified.
The former National Chairman of People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Balarabe Musa, has been elected as the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party.
According to the communiqué, the decision was reached at the national delegates conference held in Kaduna which was presided over by the then outgoing national chairman of the party, Balarabe Musa.
Malam Falalu Bello, Danmasanin Zazzau, North West was appointed Chairman of the party, just as the position of national secretary went to Babatunde Alli, South West.
The communique reads : “The conference ratified the set up of a 19 member Board of Trustees and appointment of members with Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa as Chairman and Mr. Richard Umaru as secretary of the Board.
“Conference mandated the newly elected NEC to fill existing vacancies along the lines forwarded by its 54th meeting of August 31st, 2018. The delegates aslo asked NEC to come up with guidelines on emergence of candidates for the 2019 general elections.
The communique added: “Conference received with standing ovation the inaugural speech of new national chairman, Malam Falalu Bello on the reinvigorated PRP focused on service to the people, committed to addressing poverty, inequality and good governance as a continuation of the party’s historic mission of emancipation.
The communique explained that,members of the BoT includes Prof. Ango Abdullahi (North West), Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (North West), Hon. Lawan Tukur Batagarawa (North West), Alhaji Datti Malumfashi (North West), Hon. Engr Mustafa Bello (North Central) and Mr. Setly Dadzie (North Central).
Others are Engr Ibrahim Usman (North East), Alhaji Ali Mala (North East), Prof. Philip Afanmuo (South East), Dr. Segun Falope (South West), Comrade Laoye Sanda (South West), and Brig-Gen. Odidi (South South).
“Conference mandated NEC to confirm the remaining members representing the six geo-political zones to ensure each zone has a full complement of at least three members.
“Conference saluted Malam Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa and gave him a standing ovation for his steadfastness in keeping the PRP spirit alive despite all challenges over the years”.the communique said.
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