Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has said anyone who says 2023 is his turn is making a mistake.
Although Kwankwaso did not mention the name of any candidate, the context indicates that he made a veiled reference to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the build up to the APC Primaries, Tinubu had said having assisted different persons to key positions in government, it was his turn.
The controversial remark caught headlines and trended on social media for a long time.
But speaking in Lagos on Sunday, Kwankwaso said 2023 election is going to be different.
He also asked Nigerians not to vote a candidate who is unhealthy, alleging that some persons were plotting to become president through a similar way Dr Goodluck Jonathan emerged following the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
“People are not talking about parties. They are talking about candidates and individuals. The APC and PDP have failed Nigerians. That is why we are in this mess today. I am ready for debates. Let us put our cards on the table. Some of the candidates are running away from debates. Some of them should look at themselves in the mirror and tell themselves the truth. Some of them are our seniors. You cannot cheat nature. Anybody who says 2023 is his turn is making a huge mistake.”
“In 2007, Yar’Adua was nominated as PDP candidate without consultation. There was no serious consultation. We knew things but there was no consultation and so we ran into trouble (with Yar’Adua’s ill health, attendant controversies, and using doctrine of necessity to swear in Dr Goodluck Jonathan as acting president, and his death). Today, that episode is recurring. Some people thought by becoming vice president they would soon be president.”
Kwankwaso also vowed not to step down for anyone, outlining how he intends to fight insecurity, boost the economy, and improve education if he is elected.
“The reports of my stepping down are coming from detractors who go about concocting stories to suit their mind. Anybody who thinks of stepping down at this stage is not fair to himself because the time for merger, alliances, etc, has gone. NNPP is all out to win the 2023 elections. The other parties are going down in terms of support and popularity and there is nothing any of them can do to stop this misfortune.
“NNPP is the only party growing now and the growth will continue as the 2023 polls approach. The other parties have nothing to say again. I was a founding member of the PDP, which was formed to kick the military out of power. There was no ideology behind the formation of PDP other than kicking the military out.
“After kicking out the military, we realised our differences. It was one of the reasons I lost re-election as Kano governor in 2003. So we have to think of getting a progressive party, and five of us, PDP governors, had to move and join in forming APC. We also realised that APC has issues and our expectations were dashed. We decided to form a party of like minds. However, when the INEC refused to register our party, we looked around and found NNPP. It meets our beliefs and ideology. We are happy that we left APC and PDP and joined NNPP.