Quite unlike the members of the NPC, the members of NEPU were not drawn from the ranks of traditional leaders, nor did they seek to maintain the authority of these rulers.
NEPU, on the other hand, presented the jihad first and foremost as a movement of political reform, but also cast some doubt on the unified nature of the jihad.
As will be seen, NEPU discussions of such issues tended to be much more detailed.
16) Since the Fulani made up only about fifteen percent of the total populace in the Northern Region and yet held a near monopoly on political power, it is at first somewhat surprising that the NPC would stress this aspect of the jihad, particularly in light of the fact that opposition parties, such as NEPU, frequently made allegations that the NPC was the party of the "Fulani aristocracy" and did not truly represent the populace of the north.
In contrast to the NPC, NEPU took a very different tack in approaching the issue of the jihad of Usman dan Fodio.
20) Such a claim ran counter to the standard practice of holding all those who took part in the jihad as pious individuals, but it was central to NEPU strategy and helped lay the basis for their attack on the character of the Sokoto Caliphate itself - a strategy that will be discussed in more detail shortly.
While the NPC emphasized the continuity between the jihad and the Sokoto Caliphate, NEPU presented a picture of the caliphate that stressed its discontinuity with the jihad.
Editorials and speeches by NEPU members accused the caliphate's leaders of such evils as confiscation of subjects' property, abuse of the legal system, improper taxation, and territorial wars and slave-raids against neighboring Muslim states (Bomo in particular).
36) This theme runs through many NEPU arguments against the caliphate and its successors.
Thus, the members of the NEPU leadership stressed their ties to the devout leaders of the jihad not through blood, but through a common tradition of scholarship and piety:
These scholars, states Ahmadu Jalingo (a member of the NEPU youth wing and later the personal secretary to Aminu Kano), were those who rigidly adhered to the true meaning of Islam.
It was from these "radical malamai," with their legacy of resistance to those in authority, that NEPU claimed descent.