The Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, has denied saying that he cannot be a Vice Presidential candidate to anybody ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He made the U-turn on Sunday during an interview on Arise Tv.
Kwankwaso, who was a former Kano State governor, dashed hopes for a possible alliance with the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, as strategy to defeat the ruling All Progressive Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Kwankwaso had said he could not be running mate to Obi if the two parties have an alliance.
He also stressed that he commanded more support in the north and deserves to be the flagbearer.
He also said if he agreed to be running mate to anyone, it would lead to the collapse of the NNPP.
In an interview with newsmen in Gombe, the former governor said, “At the end of the day, some of our representatives thought that there should be a criteria in terms of age, qualification, offices held, performance and so on. Of course the other side (Labour Party) wouldn’t want that. Most of the people from there believe that the presidency has to go there (South East).
“If now I decide to be the vice presidential candidate to anybody in this country; NNPP will collapse, because the party is based on what we have built in the last 30 years.”
He also said in a separate interview on Arise that “…if anybody from the South East now, under this circumstance, becomes the presidential candidate of our party or any other party, the implication is that, because of the activities (in the region) and many other issues that are real on the ground, northern voters will certainly go for their northern candidate in another party. It is not whether I like it or I don’t like it, the fact remains that he (Obi) will lose and I will lose.”
After the collapse of the alliance, Obi chose a running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, who he said shared the same vision.
Commenting on the development and issues around his statement, Kwankwaso said his statement was misunderstood.
He said, “I didn’t say I can’t be VP to anybody. But I gave an analysis of the situation that the best arrangement was for the NNPP to have the ticket and the other party to be the vice president. Actually, we didn’t put it that way.”
He revealed that his running mate will be announced before the 15th of July, a deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for parties to replace their placeholders.
Kwankwaso said, “Let me say that we have passed that season, we are now in the process of , of course, Peter has now gotten his running mate.
“We have also sent the running mate of our party with my humble self and before now and 15th of this month which INEC said every political party to finish the substitution.
“Therefore for us in the NNPP, very soon we going to take the decision, either to allow the gentleman, Oladipo Johnson who accepted to send his name to INEC and the party will sit down and take a decision either to substitute or take his name to continue.
“But in any case, I have answered that question that we are flexible, we have from now till the 15th of this month to make our decision and if we decide to take from any of the three zones (South West, South East and South South) so be it. I believe that at the end of the day, we will bring a vice presidential candidate that will be the best for the party and the best for this country.”