The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso has insisted that his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, should be his running mate in the 2023 general election.
The Kano former governor, who spoke on Saturday with journalists after inaugurating the office of the NNPP in Gombe state, described the 2023 election as a golden opportunity for the South East.
According to him, the South East is good in business and its people are well talented, but “they should learn politics… in politics they are at the bottom line.”
Making reference to Bola Tinubu, he said it was strategic for the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain to have supported President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, adding, “today he is the presidential candidate of the APC.”
Kwankwaso advised Peter Obi to accept an offer of being his running mate for the forthcoming presidential election, noting that the best option for the South East was for the zone to partner with NNPP, “this is a golden opportunity, if they lose it, it will be a disaster.”
“From the discussion with Labour Party, the main issue was who becomes the president if the parties merge,” Premium Times quoted him as saying.
“At the end of the day, some of our representatives thought that there should be a criteria in terms of age, qualification, offices held, performance and so on.
“Of course the other side wouldn’t want that. Most of the people from there believe that presidency has to go there (South East).
“If now I decide to be vice presidential candidate to anybody in this country; NNPP will collapse, because the party is based on what we have built in the last 30 years.
“I served for 17 years as a civil servant; we are talking of 47 years of very serious hard work that is what is rarely holding NNPP now,” added said.
Kwankwaso said he was not against the presidency going to any part of the country but it must be done based on “strategy, political calculation, and equation.”
According to him, the South-East are good in business and are well talented but they should learn politics, but “in politics they are at the bottom line,” he said.
He stated that the zone lost out on the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of both APC and PDP but now has a chance with the NNPP.
He stated that those saying “even if my friend (Peter Obi) wants to accept vice presidential candidate, some people in the South-East will not accept, that is not strategic.”
He said Bola Tinubu was strategic to have supported the APC in 2015 and “today he is the presidential candidate of the APC.”
Kwankwaso said the best option for the South East was for the zone to partner with NNPP, “this is a golden opportunity, if they lose it, it will be a disaster.”
On the choice of his running mate, Kwankwaso said “we have options in the NNPP in the South to pick a good vice president and one of them is the Labour Party man (Peter Obi) you are talking about.”
On the chances of NNPP in the 2023 elections, Kwankwaso said his party had the structure, organization, and population across the country to contest and win elections.
He said if elected president in 2023, his vision would be to create opportunities for the youths of Nigeria to get employed, achieved their dreams and be empowered educationally and economically.