The origin of the Peoples Redemption Party goes directly back to the establishment of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) on 26th August, 1944. The NCNC was the first political party to attempt to mobilise ordinary people in all parts of Nigeria, and to organise and channel their grievances against British colonial domination.
The establishment of the NCNC in 1944 was followed by the General Strike of 1945, which lasted for 44 days. This strike was led by Michael Imoudu, who was a member of the NCNC’s executive council, and who later became the Deputy National President of the Peoples Redemption Party, in 1976-1983.
The NCNC led the nation-wide campaign tour of 1946 to mobilize and obtain the mandate of ordinary Nigerians to lead a delegation to London to protest against certain provisions of the Richard’s Constitution considered to be obnoxious. This led to the emergence of the Northern Elements Progressive Association (NEPA), in Kano, on 1st December, 1946 as-the first political party from Northern Nigeria.
The emergence of a political party with such a radical outlook as NEPA in Kano, whose leaders (like Habib Raji Abddalah, Abubakar Zokogi and Abdulrahman Bida) were openly associated with the Zikist Movement, shocked the British. The British moved swiftly to disband NEPA by dismissing those of its leaders, and members who were government workers. Consequently, most of the NEPA leadership moved to Lagos and joined the ranks of the Zikist Movement where they intensified their nationalist activities.
It was in this context that the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) emerged and was launched in Kano, on Tuesday, 8th August 1950. The party took off as a Northern-based political party, with a deeply Nigerian nationalist outlook. It was rooted in the peasantry, the working class, and in such other suppressed strata as craftsmen, nomads, tradesmen and other petty producers.
The NEPU won elections into councils, regional legislatures and the Federal legislature in the North during the period 1950 to 1966. The onset of the civil war and the attempt to balkanise Nigeria in 1966-70 was a major setback to these efforts.
However, on resumption of party politics in 1978 the old NEPU re-emerged as the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and was launched on 28th, October, 1978, under the leadership of Mallam Aminu Kano. The twenty one who attended the inaugural meeting of the PRP included S. G. Ikoku, Una Akpan, Dr. Kolabogbe, Balarabe Musa, A. D. Yahaya and others.
The Military coup of December 1983 did not terminate this political movement, which by then had been engaged actively in almost four decades of struggle for independence, unity and democracy, and had got deep roots in the country. During the period 1978 to 1999, the PRP won elections into local government councils, state Houses of Assembly, Governorships, Federal House of Representatives, and the Senate.
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) is today Nigeria’s longest surviving political party. The Party and the political movements which it represents have survived many military proscriptions and civilian oppression and exploitation. And it is still going strong.
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE PEOPLE’S REDEMPTION PARTY
We, the members of the People’s Redemption Party of Nigeria, believe in five fundamental principles. These five principles constitute the foundations on which our party exists; the pillars upon which our party firmly stands, deeply rooted in the history of our country; the cement which binds us together in our struggle for the redemption of our people and our country; as the ideals which give us a sense of common purpose; and the beam of light illuminating our path towards our vision of the future of our great country. These five fundamental principles of the People’s Redemption Party arc:
I. Value and the Equality of Human Beings
We believe in the human being as the most precious thing in the world, above all wealth and material objects; in the sacrosanct nature of human life; in the collective nature of human existence, in which every human being is unique and has equal rights and duties. And as an individual, he and she are primarily social beings who are members of families, members of communities, and citizens of nations, and links in the chain of succeeding generations of the dead, the living and the unborn, with the fundamental human right to the conditions necessary for the creative development of his and her human potential to the fullest, free from all forms of discrimination, degradation, oppression and exploitation.
II. The Power of the People
We believe in the inalienable democratic rights and duties of the people to fully, and purposefully, participate in exercising their sovereign rights to decide how they are governed and to elect, hold to public account and remove those who govern them, and to actively participate in determining the direction and content of the political, zeconomic, social, and cultural structures, policies and practices shaping their lives and destiny; and to resist (by legitimate means) any attempt at the violation of these rights. We believe that it is only by the exercise of this right, through the power of a conscious, organized and vigilant people, that any form of human development can be achieved and sustained.
III. State Control of the Economy
We believe that the building of a prosperous and self-reliant national economy has to be on the basis of just social relations of production and exchange, with the democratic state playing the leading role in ensuring that our domestic productive capacity, and the national currency, are developed, modernized and strengthened; and all the human and natural resources of the nation are identified, cherished, utilized and renewed, within the framework of long-term national planning; and that everyone receives fair and adequate returns for their mental and manual labor and legitimate private enterprise, with the aim of constructing a new social order on the basis of the principle of ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his work.’ We believe also in the mainstreaming of the Working People, Worker’s Organizations, Popular Groups, Women, the Youth, and Persons Living with Disabilities in Nigeria’s political and economic process.
IV. Genuine Federalism
We believe in the forging of Nigerian national unity on the basis of justice and equitable political, social and economic opportunities for all citizens, within a genuinely federal system of government in which our diversity is recognized and cherished and which promotes a national sense of belonging and of a common destiny, through the elimination of all unequal and unjust relations of hegemony and monopoly of office and assets between and within ethnic groups, whenever they exist. We are equally committed to the prevention of religious and ethnic strife, through sustained democratic community action and a strong purposeful defense of the fundamental human rights of all citizens, wherever they are.
V. Total Liberation from Imperialism
We believe that the defense and promotion of our national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity,
economic survival and development, requires the total liberation of our country, and the rest of Africa, and the world from the chains of old and new forms of imperialist domination, including those being imposed through the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and such other international capitalists organizations. This in turn requires the forging of the unity of all patriotic political organizations across the continent, and the world in order to renew and revitalize the pan-African vision, commitment and action, and to use this to contain and end civil wars and other violent conflicts, and to institutionalize peace and democracy and accelerate regional and continental economic and political integration. We are committed to solidarity with the peoples and governments of Asia, the Pacific, South and Central America, Western Europe and the Caribbean, in order to bring about a new and just international economic order, based on mutual respect and cooperation among nations and which promotes the sustainable use of the natural environment and world peace.