Presidency: I’m more qualified, competent to lead Nigeria – Kwankwaso
Rabiu Kwankwaso is the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) for the 2023 general election. In this exclusive brief interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on the presidential poll and the state of the nation. Excerpts:
There are rumours that Northern elders are putting pressure on you to step down for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. What is your view on that?
Read also: Kwankwaso disagrees with Buhari on old naira note deadline
I heard the rumour, the North is big, there are so many people in the North, people are afraid to say what they want and that is why we have so many parties. Some people are in PDP, in APC and others in NNPP.
So, if PDP elders sat down and said I should withdraw for Atiku, I am sure that NNPP leaders would say; Atiku should withdraw for me because I am more qualified, more competent and more upright, whatever reason you can imagine.
So, anybody is free to say what he wants, that is what our enemies are saying.
They said withdrawal for Mr. A, Mr. B, even when I was giving my speech at the Chatham House; somebody got up and said I should withdraw for Peter Obi and I answered that person appropriately.
Even these ones, I am sure they are people who have collected money. You know that anything from Atiku has to do with money.
So many people have already disgraced themselves in Northern Nigeria, they are the ones calling themselves elders, we don’t call them elders and by any standard; I am more Northerner than any of the candidates that are contesting in the North today.
You had a rally in Ibadan during the week; how was the reception from the people?
I thank God we are going round the country; so far, we have been to over 400 local government areas. We have visited some states, towns, and cities. In the course of my presidential campaign, some would say that the last presidential candidates that came here was Obafemi Awolowo or Shagari, because these days some of our candidates are very lazy, some are very sick; they are just going to state capitals to talk to people about lies.
I can tell you today at the grassroots our party is number one. I was surprised by the crowd at my rally in Ibadan.
What should Nigerians be expecting ahead of the presidential poll?
Many of the people would be shocked. Nigerians are looking for a way out, PDP, APC have as far as we are concerned disappointed Nigerians, their candidate after everything should not be talking, but in Nigeria everything goes.
That is why some of them are there. Let’s wait and see.
Does this mean you are the best presidential candidate to salvage Nigeria?
Yes by all criteria, I am challenging them to come to debates but they refused.
What is your take on redesigning the naira by CBN and the lingering fuel scarcity?
We criticised them that is why they extended the window for people to go and change their money. When I am elected I would open the window for people to go and change their money. The fuel scarcity is very unfortunate to the government, what is happening now is that; we cannot manage supplies to our towns and cities. But it is good for ANPP, that is what PDP did and now APC is repeating the same thing. I think Nigerians would make judgment between the status quo, what is happening now and a new Nigeria where things will change for the better.