2023: APC, PDP have nothing to offer Nigerians again –Kwankwaso

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From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has passed a damning verdict on the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying that the government failed Nigerians woefully. Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State who assessed the Buhari’s administration on security, economy and the management of the polity, concluded that the assessment is not the best.

Kwankwaso also berated his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for also failing to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians and concluded that both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP have nothing to offer Nigerians anymore. Excerpts:

Let me begin with the state of the nation. How would you assess the outgoing government of President Muhammadu Buhari?

I believe the government could have done better. There are many areas that government cannot even claim that they have done well and these are the very key areas, especially the area of security. We have seen what is happening in the North-west, Northeast and North-central. Now, we can even see what happened recently in Owo, in Ondo State. It is very unfortunate and what happened was condemnable, something that the Federal Government would have stopped in the first place. But in any case, it shows clearly that the government has big issues with security. There is also the issue of economy. The economy is not working. In fact, if anything is only working for them, it is because we have seen them buying one form at the cost of N100 million. Almost 30 of them bought those forms. To them who are in the system now, N100 million is nothing. They can afford to throw it out. Even those who were sure they were not to be considered, they are not in the good books of those who would select their flag bearer, they just threw away the money. And these are monies that they could have used to improve their primary schools, at least, the ones they attended in their home states. These are monies that they can even do boreholes and so on and so forth. So, the economy is not working. Every- body knows that. And, of course, even the polity, you can see that many people are happy today in this country that the government could not handle the polity the way they should and that explains why they are in a total mess now. They don’t know one candidate who can be either their president or vice president in this country and this is a sign of failure also. So, I think the assessment generally, in my opinion, is not the best.

If you become the president of this country, how are you going to handle all these issues, particularly the issue of security that is staring Nigerians at the face?

As somebody who has been in the political system for 30 years, you know in 1992, I was Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps during the SDP and NRC days; I have held so many positions from that time to date. I was at the Constitutional Conference in 94/95; I was governor of Kano from 1999 to 2003 and also Minister of Defence for about four years during the Obasanjo’s regime. I was in the NDDC representing Northwest and I was also governor for second term from 2011 to 2015. And I was Senator of the Federal

Republic from 2015 to 2019. I contested elections. The one we are going to do tomorrow (Wednesday, June 8, 2022), the convention, is the 17th time. I lost election three times and won 14 times, meaning we understand the politics underground in terms of party, in terms of governance and, therefore, we know how to handle the issue of polity. And that is what they lack in APC today. Now, that political aspect is key to even the security because the moment you don’t get the politics correctly, definitely, you hardly get the economy and security and even putting infrastructure and so on. So, we will handle the issue of politics as much as we can. That will help us in terms of security and, of course, as former Minister of Defence, we are really shocked and worried about what is happening because we have military and the air force, the navy and the army. I believe they are well trained. All what they need is to guarantee their retraining, guarantee their welfare, guarantee their equipment, arms and ammunitions and so on. These are things that government should do and, of course, that will only come if there is political will and from the look of things, I think that is looking like it is lacking. The economy, of course, with the security under control, the issue of politics under control, the economy will certainly be better because people will come and invest freely, both Nigerians and even foreigners. Nigeria is a good place for investment, especially if some of these things can be improved.

You were in the PDP, you moved to APC, returned to PDP and now, the flag bearer of the NNPP. What is the significance of your movement because if you look at the political parties, they are the same thing and the same people?

Yeah, the same, but we are different. That is why we tried PDP, it didn’t work; we tried APC, even worst and that was why my humble self and other nationalists, young men and women across the country, decided to pick this NNPP. So, we are so happy that we are here, we are working for a new Nigeria and that is even the name of the party, New Nigeria Peoples Party – NNPP. So, we are so happy that we are out of all these two mess that we have and we are working as a family and I am sure that Nigerians will come out and vote for us in 2023 election.

What objective do you want to achieve, particularly now that even Northerners are saying that is the turn of the South?

You see, that is for APC. APC, under normal circumstances, they have no option. Buhari spent eight years or he is spending eight years now, so nobody will think that you will go and take somebody from his village again. It has to go to the other side of the country. Yes, PDP ideally, would have taken it to the South, but for whatever reason, they decided to get a Northerner. But ours is a new party. It is now that we are setting the pace and I can assure you that after our eight years in government, definitely, there will be no debate. It will automatically go to the South.

Eventually, if what you are doing stands, do you think you stand a chance to win the election?

Oh! Certainly! All these parties, they are already being thrown into the dustbins of history by Nigerians. Nobody wants to hear PDP and APC. Even those who are contesting elections, they know that. But without alternative and people want to play politics, they want to contest election, they want this, that is why they are in APC and PDP. But they have failed completely. They are now on the ground. So, every- body now, especially the young men and women and people who believe in the unity and stability of this country, are in NNPP. Of course, some are coming. We continue to grow, while they continue to lose their followership across the country.

Your new romance with your political enemy, former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, now a sitting senator, is it something that will last?

No, he is not a political enemy. He was an opponent; he was in a different party. I don’t have any enemy in politics, only opponents. If you are on the other side of my party, we will go and slug it out. And like you have seen now, he is with us and we try to manage our situation to see him and other people not as enemies, but as our opponents. Now, they see reason to come and join us. We are going to work as a family to defeat these two failed parties.

You are from Kano State and vying for the presidency. Having been in politics for a long time, you know very well that you cannot play with the power of incumbency. Do you have the support of your governor, Ganduje?

With incumbency, he lost election. The only thing was that in the 2019 election, the Federal Government imposed him and even them, they are regretting because they will get close to nothing in terms of votes. So, I don’t see any reason one will even think of incumbency. If there is anything like that, it is our candidate. Our candidate, in the actual sense, won the election.

What will be your selling point to the South because if they are feeling cheated, what campaign message will you be selling to them?

You see, the North and South, every-body today is not asking for candidates from North or South. All those things are being made by politicians. Ordinary Nigerians now are only after somebody who can come and unite Nigerians; some- body who has capacity to bring changes– changes in the polity, changes in the economy and changes in everything. So, that one is just political statement. Nigerians are looking for the right guy to come and put Nigeria on the path of unity, good economy and, of course, security.

Your party is relatively new and structures are what parties use to win elections. Do you have structures in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja? What are you going to do because we have not heard people declaring for governorship of your party across the country?

The answer is that we have enough structures across the country. We have structures in all the wards, in all the local governments, in all the states and even at the zonal level. We had our national convention on the 30th of March and we elected our leadership at the national level. And now, we have our candidates all over the country – state assembly, house of reps, senate and governors. By the grace of God, tomorrow, NNPP will have presidential candidate.

So, you are confident of winning the election?

Oh! Very confident, very confident!

source: The Sun

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