The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) sprang a surprise in the 2019 elections when it won two House of Representatives seat in Bauchi State.
The party won Bauchi and Katagum federal constituencies in the election.
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Barrister Ahmed Umar Farouk, the deputy governorship candidate of the PRP in Bauchi State, said what accounted for the impact of the party in 2019 was the failure of previous administrations and failure of leadership in delivering promises made to the people which in turn brought the general awareness to reject the ruling party.
“If you look at the forerunners of the party and their antecedents it gave the people the encouragement to go for the PRP. After almost 40 years and if you also look at the credibility of the people that the party fielded in the last election it was not in doubt, it was not in contest that all the candidates were people of credible character.
“Unfortunately, many people are not so much aware of politics of principle which is why the party lost the 2019 election at the dying minutes because of the money politics introduced by the PDP but we are hoping gradually that people are beginning to see that even the PDP and the so-called people who believe in money politics when elected don’t actually provide the money, it is all shambles,” Farouk said.
He added that the party had been on the watch in Bauchi.
“Now that we have seen the glaring inefficiency and incapacity of the administration, you can see that we are coming up. If you look at the number of people who have purchased PRP forms to contest the local government election you will understand that people are disenchanted with the ruling party. If you look at the opinions of Bauchi people, they trusted the then ruling APC before the 2019 election and it really didn’t satisfy them and out of desperation they went for the PDP and they now realize that the PDP is even worse than the APC, so Bauchi people are now seeing the PRP as their best alternative.”
The Bauchi State PRP chairman, Alhaji Shehu Barau NIngi, hinged the election of two members of the House Representatives from Bauchi on political awareness of the people of Bauchi and Azare and the history of the PRPs struggle of resisting injustice and unjust rulers against ordinary people. “During the 2019 election PRP members defended their votes without fear of intimidation from anyone. The political awareness in these two cities was responsible for the PRP’s ability to defeat the incumbent candidates.
The chairman added, “If the party had campaigned earlier in Bauchi during the 2019 election the PRP would have won the governorship election because we started campaigning three months before the election and visited only seven LGAs but we come third in the election. If you come and see how hundreds of people are trooping for PRP forms to contest the forthcoming local government election you will know the support base in Bauchi because people are tired of deception.”
Cracks in PRP as Balarabe Musa alleges factionalisation
We know of no faction – Party chairman
Cracks have however emerged within the party following internal wranglings between the Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, and the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Falalu Bello.
Falalu Bello, a former Managing Director of Unity Bank, emerged the PRP’s national chairman in September 2018, succeeding Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Kaduna State who had announced his retirement from active politics in 2018.
However, Musa who spoke with Daily Trust on Sunday described the PRP’s present state as factionalised, saying the division was partly due to disagreements concerning the ideology and structure of the party.
“We have problems within the party now. You know we handed the leadership of the party in 2018 to a younger person, but unfortunately the younger person is not capable and we have a lot of problems,” he said.
“Some people think we should change while some people say no, that the PRP must maintain the ideology which we have maintained up till today because without it, we wouldn’t have been where we are now,” he further said.
The former governor said while they had tried to keep the division within the party, it had become unsuccessful and led to the factionalization.
“So whatever happened even if we are factionalised, the solution is now convention of the party, this can be done within one year so that we have two years for campaigning because as it is now, we can’t maintain credible campaigns when we are divided,” he said.
Reacting, Alhaji Falalu Bello said he was not aware of any faction within the party but only a difference of opinions between himself and Balarabe Musa.
“He is the chairman, BOT and I am the national chairman of the party, the constitution of the party has provided roles of the Board of Trustees and the National Executive committee and we are respecting those provisions,” Bello said.
“I think there is a desire by some of them to control the party from the Board of Trustees which is not possible. The BOT has its own role and the national executive committee has its own role. I believe we have differences on how these two should function between myself and Malam Balarabe Musa, that much I agree,” he added.
Bello explained that until the delegates conference of September 2018 which ushered him to office, the PRP was a party ran by an individual, adding, “A group of us came up and we were elected as leaders at that delegates conference and in fact, Malalm Balarabe Musa is responsible for bringing some of us into the leadership of PRP, essentially because he felt the party needed new blood in its leadership.”
“We came just about a week to the national elections of 2019 and PRP fielded 285 candidates in 22 states of the federation, the highest it ever recorded since its creation. PRP is building itself to become relevant in the context of Nigerian political landscape.”
As for party ideology, Bello said the present executive committee had never gone outside the programmes and constitution of the party, adding that he would continue to lead the party based on its constitution until the next convention when members will be free to elect a replacement.