Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), says he intends to unite and secure the country if elected president in February.
“My legacy, I want to unite the country, we want to have a Nigeria that will not face insecurity, economic hardship and ASUU/Industrial strikes. We want to bring everybody on board,” Kwankwaso said while speaking at the Chatham House, London on Wednesday.
Kwankwaso promised to revamp the economy and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and attract more foreign investment if elected.
He also vowed to deal with poverty and poor education in the north if elected.
“I believe there are different hinderances facing our sitting president, but Leadership entails experience and antecedents, as an experienced politician, we know that there will always be challenges to any leader. But, we will do the right thing and resolve the problems.”
“When I came here I met some Marine Engineers, who are part of those we sponsored abroad for their studies. In this country, we have enough resources to cater for these policies, and by the Grace of God, all of the out of school children will go back to school.
He said,” I built over 500 classrooms while I was governor of Kano state, and when elected I will bring more people on board to tackle education needs in Nigeria.”
Kwankwaso noted that whether the election would be free and fair, will depend largely on President Muhammadu Buhari.
“My 30 years in elections have taught me that free and fair elections require the contributions of different stakeholders, especially the president, if the president wants a fair election, it will happen..
“I want to appeal to the Nigerian president to leave a legacy of free elections, as a serial victim of electoral fraud, and as the first beneficiary of free and fair elections in Nigeria.
“My dear compatriots in the Diaspora, we’re proud of your achievements, we’re even more proud of your contributions to make the World a better place. Let me pledge that if I become president, we shall make Nigeria an attractive destination for investment.
“We believe that you’ve a better role to play back at home under our administration, and we also pledge to make the necessary for those who choose to stay back in their host countries to vote in the elections.”
On why talks of possible alliance with Labour Party broke down, Kwankwaso said he was initially interested in forming an alliance with the party, but it was at the peak of its media hype and didn’t agree to his his terms.
“On Labour Party, I was initially interested in working with them, but at that time, they were at peak of the media hype and we couldn’t reach a compromise,” he said.
“Our party (NNPP) is a National Party, and we’re commanding the support of the masses.”
The NNPP flagbearer said he is ready to step down his 2023 presidential ambition if he sees a better candidate contesting the 2023 presidential election.
On insecurity, Kwankwaso recalled his time as Defense minister and Special adviser to the president of Somalia and promised to recruit more into the Nigeria armed forces.
Kwankwaso said he is aspiring to become the next president of Nigeria because “I understand the issues involved, the mistakes that were made, the wrong priorities that were set, and together with our team, we are better connected with the hopes and aspirations of the Nigerian citizens.”
He added that “we understand, agree with, and share grievances. And we have a practical plan to address each and every challenge bedevilling our country.”
The former Kano governor noted that the problem of Nigeria is not the big people, but that the country is its own problem.
He said, “Forget about the big people, who are actually the problem of our country…”
The presidential candidate of the NNPP further stated, “With supporters at the grassroots level, we are the only party today and we’ve succeededo, in Northern Nigeria today in terms of votes and support. Now we are working in the Southern part of the country.”