Ripples over NNPP logo, slogan change 

From Ibadan, BAYO AGBOOLA examines the controversies trailing the the logo and slogan changes effected by the New Nigeria’s People’s Party (NNPP) during its recent mini convention in Abuja 

Explanation for the change 

Going by the unfolding scenario in the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), it is very glaring that all is not well between the party hierarchy at the National level and the South West states chapter over the recent change of the party’s logo at a recent mini convention of the party. 

To the NNPP hierarchy at the national level, the change of the party logo stands as the best thing to happen to NNPP while the South West leaders see it as an agenda by some leaders to allegedly hijack the party.

The seeming feud reared its head with a mini convention last Saturday by the NNPP leadership to effect a change in the party’s logo and slogan which according to the NNPP’s National Secretary, Mr Dipo Olayokun, became necessary in view of complaints from members after the last general elections.

“What really informed that, in the last general elections, we suffered some setbacks because of the logo we had. And to the extent that many of our members across the country were calling the national secretariat to complain that our logo was not on the ballot paper.

“Even myself, when I entered the polling booths, it took some time to identify what INEC gave to us in the ballot paper. It was later we discovered that it had many colours. It really affected the production of the papers. And that was why we said that there was a need for us to do something. At least, to do something that will make it easy for our voters and followers to identify NNPP, no matter the problems with the ballot papers produced by INEC.

“We also looked at the issue of education which is germane in Nigeria today. Once you are educated, you have the key and opportunities. We decided to make education the key thing. And that is why we say our slogan is “Education for All”. So, we have tried to lesson with what happened to us in the last election. Particularly, because of the nature of multiple things we had on the logo

Southwest NNPP disagreement

The South West leader of NNPP, Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan, minced no words in rejecting the new new logo, claiming that it was designed and chosen to suit the political movement of Kwankwasiyya and the people of Kano state.

He further said the leader of the party, Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC) did not consult and consider the leaders and stakeholders of the party across the state before choosing the new logo for the party.

“We rejected the logo here in Oyo state and South West in general, they consulted nobody, and those that decided on the new logo chose what was best for Kwankwasiyya moment and the people of Kano. 

“Senator, Rabiu Kwankwaso doesn’t understand that he cannot be the sole decision maker of the party because he has a governor in his state, that doesn’t mean he owns the party. It is now clear that he wanted to be the Alpha and Omega of the party, that his why he coerced the NWC of the patty to expel the BOT chairman, Boniface Aniebonam.

“It is saddening that Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso who is also a former governor, will be so self-centered to the detriment of his political party that needed inclusiveness of party leaders, stakeholders, and members for survival. 

“It is agreed that our party logo needed amendment because, after the election, we all noticed that part of what gave NNPP a setback during the election across the country was the party logo, except in Kano state, and Kwankwasiya members, it was hard for voters to easily recognise and match the name of our party with the logo. 

“More so, we didn’t do enough sensitisation about the logo, so, haven’t analyzed this, before now, senator Kwankwaso, NEC, NWC of the party shouldn’t have done the amendment logo in a rush. Everybody should have been carried along, including members of the party at the local government, and ward levels. 

“To us in Oyo state, the NEC, NWC of the party adopted the logo to further promote the Kwankwasiyya Movement, I’m saying this because, as it is, red colour was chosen for Kwankwasiyya and we all know that, Kwankwaso’s colour is red”.  

Alhaji Olopoeyan stressed, “They never considered that the logo change would affect the party immensely in some states where governorship and local government elections would be held, with no consultation, and no sensitization, they just made a unilateral decision. Even, the former logo is far better compared to the newly adopted logo. 

“Here in Oyo state, we are going for local government election in the next three weeks, our party’s candidates are in high spirits, having done their assignment at the grassroots but, it is unfortunate that Senator Kwankwaso and his party allies will jeopardize their chances with the new logo because the time is took short to start sensitization for members and voters.

“Moreover, the decision to hold a national convention when there were pending court cases made all their actions unacceptable and invalid. Kwankwaso who was leading the party now never considered the party’s future and its members, all he wants is to be an emperor. 

“It is now I agreed with the former governor, Umar Ganduje’s decision to let Senator Kwankwaso let go of APC. The dictatorship action of Senator Kwankwaso in NNPP has justified Ganduje”.

The Public Relations Officer of the South West Chapter of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), Hon Kilamuwaye Badmus, on his part, has said voters across the country did not have problem with the party’s logo during the 2023 general elections, but that the complaint was that the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) omitted the logo of the party on ballot papers in most states of the federation.

Hon Badmus accused the NNPP National Secretary of turning the truth on its head, stressing that the complaints from the party leaders and voters in many states was that INEC omitted the logo on ballot papers and not that the logo was difficult to understand.

The PRO added that it was the same logo that Olayokun claimed wasn’t comprehensive by voters that gave the party the governorship seat and majority members of national and state assemblies in Kano.

“They have their own plan and the plan is to turn NNPP into Kwankwasiyya Movement. Nothing is wrong with our logo. The logo was used in Kano and we won the governorship election, the national assembly election and won the majority in the state assembly election. 

“Our complaint was that in many states like Ogun state, for instance, INEC deliberately omitted our logo on the ballot papers and this caused us the governorship election which ordinarily we would have won with wide margins”.

Hon Badmus maintained, “Contrary to Olayokun’s claim, that the date for the mini convention was not well communicated to members, most members got to know about the date for the convention on the Saturday that it was held. 

“What even shows their desperation in turning a national party like the NNPP into a Kwankwasiyya Movement is the violation of an Abuja High Court order that prohibit holding of convention till 2026.The question we need to ask the organisers of the mini convention is why the hurry? Why jettisoning a court order.

“To us in the South West NNPP, the mini convention is illegal and we are not part of the changing of the party’s logo.You can’t change a party’s logo without carrying all members along. We stand by our position, that the new logo is not valid and it’s illegal. All the efforts put up by Olayokun in defending the illegal action cannot stand”.

To political observers, though the next general elections in the country is still far, yet, the logo, slogan crisis now rocking the party, particularly, coming from the South West axis of the country needs to be nip in the bud as early as possible considering the importance and sensitive position of South West in the  history of partisan politics in Nigeria.