A former Governor of Kano State and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has stated that the electorate in the North won’t vote for the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, should the latter be the candidate of the proposed NNPP-LP alliance for the 2023 general elections.
Kwankwaso also disclosed that the alleged closeness of Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, to a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, is frustrating the negotiations of the NNPP and the LP alliance.
Kwankwaso made this known on Sunday while featuring on Sunday Politics, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.
When asked if the former Minister of Defence had agreed with Obi on joining forces to defeat the two dominant parties – opposition PDP and ruling All Progressives Congress, he said the NNPP is discussing with “so many people, individuals, groups and parties,” believing that at the end of the day, it would win elections at all levels.
While Kwankwaso noted that he had yet to meet with Obi for negotiations, a committee set up to negotiate the alliance had met with the ex-Anambra governor and “I believe that it is highly likely that we are going to meet and discuss the issue of coming together as a family.”
On the likelihood of the alliance to happen, the NNPP candidate said, “Yes, I believe that it will happen but we believe also that there are some challenges that we are having especially from the side of the Labour Party itself, because there are so many influences – some on their side, negative and even the positive side. We have a situation today where there are some people who are in other parties, who are also influencing the decision of that party (LP). I believe it is not good for the party.
When asked if he was willing to be Obi’s running mate, Kwankwaso stated, “What I’m telling you is that if anybody from the South-East now, under this circumstance, becomes the presidential candidate of our party or any other party, the implications is that because of the activities and other issues that are really on the ground, northern voters will certainly go for their northern candidate and another party. So, the thinking is not whether I like it or I don’t, the fact remains that everybody will lose. He will lose and I will lose.”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of LP, Julius Abure, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The truth of the matter is that it is in his (Kwankwaso’s) own interest for him to take the Vice Presidency. Peter Obi is the man of the moment, he has the credentials and he is the most popular as we speak and not Kwankwaso.
“When you look at fairness and equity, it doesn’t favour Kwankwaso, the mood of the country as it stands does not favour Kwankwaso. The late President Musa Yar’adua was from the North West, the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is from the North West, Nigerians will not accept another person from the North West.
“These are factors that come to play and I don’t think we should be arrogant about it.”