A former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso, has said a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, might have become his running mate if the latter had joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party, instead of the Labour Party, after exiting the Peoples Democratic Party.
Kwankwaso, who is now presidential candidate of the NNPP, said the party would hold its presidential primary next week, even though he was the only aspirant who obtained the forms of the NNPP.
The presidential aspirant also said the NNPP would shop for a popular vice-presidential candidate from the South after its national convention.
Kwankwaso who featured on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, on Monday, was asked about the reports that Obi was to continue his presidential race on the platform of the NNPC after quitting the PDP.
Kwankwaso said, “Actually we had opportunities to talk to ourselves on many national issues, until few days to the time when he declared for the Labour Party, of which he is now the presidential candidate. I wish him well and I wish all other presidential candidates well. I’m sure all these would be decide by the electorate across the country who are going to vote on the 25th of February, 2023.”
On whether he thought of Obi being his running mate, Kwankwaso said, “Yes, many people suggested that. I believe it could have been possible if not because he joined another party. Now, he is a (presidential) candidate as we have seen from the news just now. We look forwards to seeing what happens in the next few days or weeks.”
When asked about picking a running mate from the South-East, the ex-governor said, “We are not there yet. After the convention (of the NNPP), then the party would sit down and look around and see if we can have a very good, credible somebody who is acceptable, somebody who can bring as many people as possible to come and vote for our party as the Vice-President of the NNPC from the Southern part of the country.”
Obi clinches Labour Party’s presidential ticket, promises change
Meanwhile, Obi has clinched the Labour Party’s ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
It was gathered that two aspirants, Prof Pat Utomi, and the youngest presidential aspirant, Mr Joseph Faduri, stepped down for Obi.
But there was a mild drama as the only female aspirant, Mrs Olubusola Emmanuel, announced her withdrawal from the race at the middle of voting after about 19 states had cast their votes.
Obi polled 97 votes out of the total 104 accredited delegates to clinch the ticket.
The electoral committee’s chairman, Usman Aliu, declared Obi the winner of the exercise.
“Having certified all requirements by scoring the highest number of votes, I hereby declare Mr Peter Obi as the party standard bearer for the 2022 presidential election,” he declared
In his acceptance speech, Obi attributed the problems of Nigeria to leadership, saying that he would change Nigeria from a consumption nation to a production nation.
While thanking the aspirants who stepped down for him, Obi stated, “We will join hands together to deliver the country from the shackles of those holding us hostage.
“We are going through leadership failure in Nigeria. I only want to change Nigeria from a consumption country to a production nation.
“I also want to change Nigeria from a sharing nation to a creating nation. There is a lot of waste in the government.”
He said Nigeria needed a visionary leader that can deliver the country.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of the flag to Obi by the party’s National Chairman, Mr Julius Abure.