She was elected through a voice vote and by the raising of hands by around 100 party members in a direct primary that was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the party's national convention in Abuja on Monday, August 20, 2018.
NIP elects presidential flag bearer amidst internal party crisis
The 40-year-old has been elected to represent the party at the 2019 presidential election.
In her acceptance speech at the convention, Atuejide noted that her unchallenged victory made her feel like she had won the presidency already.
"I've never contested anything in my life but this is almost like winning the presidency already. Thank you so much," she said.
Party embroiled in scandal
Atuejide's emergence as the party's flag bearer comes on the back of a rift that threatens to tear the party apart as she was accused of engaging in anti-party activities by the National Executive Committee (NEC).
During a meeting held on August 12, 2018, 10 members of the committee suspended Atuejide and the party's National Secretary, Audu Israel, over allegations bordering on forgery, misappropriation of party funds without requisite approval, falsification of documents, criminal breach of trust, conversion and criminal conspiracy, anti-party activities and usurpation of power.
"After a unanimous decision taken by 2/3 of the National Executive Committee members, the party is alleging, amongst other gross misconducts; forgery, misappropriation of party funds without requisite approval, falsification of documents, criminal breach of trust, conversion and criminal conspiracy, anti-party activities and usurpation of power against the person of the chairman and National Secretary, all these are not in tandem with the spirit of the doctrine of the party," a party communique read.
Accused of also autocratically ruling the party by appointing herself as the National Chairman, National Leader, Chief Whip and the party's sole presidential aspirant without the approval of the party's NEC, the committee decided to suspend the August 20 national convention that had been planned by Atuejide.
"It was resolved at the meeting that Mrs. Atuejide and National Secretary remain suspended pending the conclusion of the on-going investigations by the party’s national executive committee and the Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC," the communique read.
Despite the committee's decision, the party's convention went ahead on Monday and the dissenting members of the National Executive Committee were stripped of their positions for engaging in "anti-party moves".
"We invited them to this convention to come and state their claims but as you can see, they purposely decided not to come, showing that their moves were evil and unwholesome," Atuejide said.
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