LAGOS – Presidential candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso yesterday dismissed insinuation in some quarters that he would step down for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming general election.
Speaking in Lagos at a meeting with Nigeria Guilds of Editors, Kwankwaso said, “Some people are saying that I am stepping down for Atiku, why then did I leave the party? These are the issues; you see the problem with that party was that there are so many people who believe that they are highly privileged. In democracy, people are free to follow any political party, you cannot sit there and start dictating that I like this one, or you do not like the other one.”
The NNPP candidate said his ideology and experience is different from his opponents which can be traced back to when he was a governor in Kano State.
According to him, his journey in governance dated back from when he was employed as an artisan till date, which has taught him how to manage public resources, adding that that remains a huge distinguishing factor separating him from others.
On NNPC, he said, “Off course we are happy that it is now a law to make sure that the NNPC is moved forward and we are very committed to involving the private sector in this country.
“We will support the bill and do whatever it takes to make sure that the oil and gas industry is better for the interest of each and every one of us.”
Dwelling on constitution review, he stated that when elected his government would be open to the yearning of the people.
“Now on the issue of constitution, as I said earlier on, we are open to discussion each and every day to listen to you and if Nigerians require a new constitution, we will be very happy to follow our process to get it done.
‘’But the fact remains that from my own experience in the last two decades; the problem has not mainly been that of the constitution but the operators, which we believe by 2023 we will have the right people to handle the Constitution,” he said.
On his political movement from the ruling party to the opposition, he noted that the difference in ideology and governance led him to seek his presidential ambition in another party.
“I think you know that they are not serving the interest of the majority of Nigerians, but just underline what I said. You see the PDP and APC put together for about 24 years are responsible for the mismanagement of the Nigerian resources.
“I had all the experiences when we formed PDP in 1998; it was not based on anything rather than issues-based matters. Mainly all of us came together that the military had to go, it was only after then we started to see issues and we believe the leadership at that time has failed; of course, the privileged people now can argue that even the bad PDP is better than the APC.
‘’That was why I feel that PDP was lucky even kicking out its members including my humble self, Peter Obi, even including Wike. They were kicking everybody because they think once you get the PDP ticket-they still see it as 1999-, the children born from 1999 are the ones now in charge of pulling units and so on and so forth.”
On insecurity and how he is going to solve the menace, he agreed that the problem has hindered the economic development of the country, stating that more personnel needs to be employed to curb the situation.