New Nigeria People’s Party presidential candidate Rabiu Kwankwaso says he cannot be Peter Obi’s running mate because he was more qualified than the Labor Party’s presidential candidate.
Speaking in Gombe on Saturday, Mr Kwankwaso said that when discussing the merger with the LP, representatives from his side “believed that there should be a criterion in terms of age, qualification, functions performed , performance, etc.
The former governor of Kano said his political profile and vast experience having held various positions helped bring the NNPP to the limelight in a short time.
“I served for 17 years as a civil servant; we are talking about 47 years of very serious hard work, that is what rarely holds the NNPP back now,” he said.
Mr Kwankwaso said agreeing to run as Mr Obi’s running mate would cause the NNPP to collapse, saying ‘the party is based on what we have built over the last 30 years’.
He said an issue raised during the merger talks with the LP was that “most people there think the presidency has to go (South East)”.
The NNPP leader said the presidency going to the South East in 2023 must be done on the basis of “strategy, political calculation and equation”.
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According to him, the South-Easters are good in business and are very talented but they should learn politics, “in politics they are at the bottom line”.
He said the South East haven lost presidential and vice-presidential candidates from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had a “golden opportunity” with the NNPP, and “will be a disaster”. if they lose it.
On his choice of running mate, Mr Kwankwaso said there were options to choose from in the South, and “one of them is the Labor Party man you are talking about”.
Regarding the NNPP’s chances in the 2023 elections, he said his party had the structure, organization and people across the country to contest and win the elections.
He said if elected president in 2023, he would create opportunities for young people to find jobs, pursue their dreams, and be educationally and economically empowered.