• National Publicity Secretary, Shola Afuye
Against the backdrop of reports making the rounds that 47 founding members of the National Rescue Movement, NRM, left because of marginalisation, the political party has however refuted the claims.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Sola Afuye, said that such claims were not true, describing it as a ‘cheap propaganda for relevance.’
The statement read: “The attention of the leadership of the National Rescue Movement has been drawn to the alleged marginalisation involving one of our founding members and respected leader who only few weeks ago resigned his membership of the party for personal reasons.
“While we would not like to join issues with our erstwhile leader, Surv. Abubakar Usman Jikamshi, it is important to clear the air on some sensitive issues raised in his press release, so that people will have the benefit of having facts for fair judgement and appreciation of the issues at hand.
“Firstly, It is very important to appreciate the former Deputy National Chairman North of our great party, Surv. Abubakar Usman Jikamshi. As a party that believes in capacity, we acknowledge the efforts of Alhaji Jimkashi whilst in the party serving in different capacities.
“Judging by the press release in the media space credited to Alhaji Jimkashi for which he showed contempt with the present structure of our great party, the NRM structure is verifiable by anyone who cares, you will agree with us that Alhaji Jimkashi is on a mission different from the core value of our great party which he help set up on 30th March 2022.
“To set the record straight and give the gentle men of the press a golden opportunity to visit Alhaji Jimkashi for follow up stories.
In 2019, the party National Chairman was a Northerner in the person of Distinguished Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau while the 2019 Presidential flag bearer was also a Northerner in the person of Usman Ibrahim Alhaji from Kebbi State, and yet the same Alh. Jimkashi never resigned or talked about marginalization. He was the party’s Gubernatorial candidate in Katsina as well.
As the constitutional tenure of the NWC expired, and the need for Care-taker Committee to midwife the Convention came up, the same Surv. Abubakar Usman Jikamshi being a Northerner, was made the CHAIRMAN CARETAKER COMMITTEE not minding that the outgoing National Chairman then, now Chairman BoT was a Northerner. It is hypocrisy to cry marginalization when it doesn’t suit you 100%. NRM is a National platform for all Nigerians and it must not suit your personal dictate.
It is only natural that the National Chairmanship be zoned to the South this time, not particularly South East. It is only by chance that Amb. Isaac Udeh emerged as the National Chairman from South East.
In NRM, we don’t do regionalization or zoning by ethnicity or tribal considerations, we zoned in favour of competence, character, willingness and readiness to serve.
Mainly in the spirit of oneness, See the address of the National Chairman on the convention day where he said “we did not zone our presidency to any tribe or region but to the most critical marginalized demographic which is the Youths and Women” which is why we had all nine Aspirants who were young men and one woman who is a member of the party (Chairman NRM Canada), who emerged second in the contest.
During the convention to elect presidential candidates, only One out of Nine Aspirants was from the North and he came 3rd in the race. We had 4 from the South East, 3 from the South south and only One from the North.
Do we supposed to deny the winner his mandate just to satisfy Surv. Jikamshi’s regional quest even as he was part of the planning of the convention. As the Care-taker Committee Chairman of the party. It will be recalled that the same Alhaji Jikamshi handed over officially and formerly to the current National Chairman before Nigerian press at the party Secretariat. He Jikamshi also contested for the position of National Deputy Chairman North, and won in the same National Convention of 30th March 2022.
The list and composition of the entire NWC as published in the dailies contradicts his claims. Infant, the structure and positions where purely the decision of the Chairman BoT and the then members of the Caretaker Committee of which he was the Chairman.
We are surprised that a founding member and friend of the erstwhile National Chairman could comfortably make such deafening claims against the party he helped to build.
As it stands today, the top Ten Positions of the NWC stands as follows:
National Chairman- South Eeast.
National Secretary- North-West.
Deputy National Chairman North- North West.
National Organizing- North Central.
National Youth Leader- SouthSouth.
National Woman- Leader North-East.
National Publicity Secretary- South West.
National Treasurer- South South.
National Legal Adviser- North Central.
National Auditor- North East. Where is the marginalization and hijacking by the South East caucus as been peddled by Jikamshi leader.
We therefore call on all the faithful members across all levels to remain focus as we are getting ready for 2023 electioneering campaign to enthrone all our candidates in all the positions across the states, FCT and the presidential seat”.
“We call on the members of the public, faithful members of our great party and the intending members to disregard Alhaji Jikamshi’s claim that ‘he and 47 other founding members of NRM left as a consequence of marginalisation by the Igbo-speaking leaders of the party,’ It is not true, as that is a cheap propaganda for relevance.”