Formation of the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP)
The Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) was formed towards the end of 1978 by a splinter group which broke away from the NPP following the entry of Dr. Azikiwe into the presidential race on the platform of the NPP in 1978.
The GNPP was led by Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim; a former NPC stalwart With a liberal orientation who himself had presidential ambition. The party was therefore fashioned to achieve this objective.
AlhajiWaziri Ibrahim was founder, leader, chairman and presidential candidate of the party. Some other important personalities in the party were AlhajiMohammed Goni and AlhajiMuhammad Barde who were later elected on the party’s platform in 1979 as governors of Borno and Gongola states respectively.
Objectives of the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP)
The aims and objectives of the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) were:
To promote and sustain the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and uphold her territorial integrity and defend her independence and sovereignty;
To work for equal opportunity for all Nigerians;
To promote the just and equitable distribution of the fruits of economic development among persons and states of Nigeria.
To protect without discrimination every person lawfully living in Nigeria and enable him to enjoy the fundamental rights and freedom of the individual without prejudice to the rights and freedom of others and the interest of the state;
Achievements of the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP)
The GNPP achieved modest success during its short life span. Against all odds, the party’s presidential candidate came fourth in the 1979 elections. Alhaji Waziri won 10 percent of the total votes in the presidential elections and had a good spread throughout the country. In the other elections, the GNPP won 8 senatorial seats and 43 seats in the House of Representatives.
The party also secured control of the Houses of Assembly in Gongola and Borno states respectively. In short, the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) became the greatest threat to the northern political establishment in the Second Republic.
Problems of the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP)
Unfortunately, the GNPP was the greatest loser of the NPN’s landslide victory in the elections held in 1983. Apart from regressing to the fifth position in the presidential election, the party did not win a single govemorship seat in the gubernatorial elections. The Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) lost badly too in the other elections.