Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has said that his party had successfully locked down the votes in Northern Nigeria.
Kwankwaso also ruled out the possibility of stepping down or joining forces with the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, or any other party for that matter.
He made the disclosure during his appearance at the Chatham House in London on Wednesday, where he also spoke on his ideas for improving the system and services in Nigeria.
“We are the only party that is now getting support; forget about the big-big people who are the actual problems of this country but from supporters at the grassroots level. Mark it, we have been successful in locking down Northern Nigeria today in terms of votes, and support. Now, we are working in the Southern part of the country. The difference between the North and South is that the North knows us more than the Southern part of the country,” he said.
Responding to a question on the possibility of him merging with another party as the election date draws nearer, Kwankwaso said: “Go and look at my credentials my brother; I am a PhD holder in Civil Engineering; check what your candidate has. I have been in the system for over 30 years now. I was a civil servant for 17 years, I wasn’t a trader.
“I was the deputy speaker of the House Reps in 1992; I was in the Constitutional Conference elected delegate, the Governor of Kano State for eight years and I was in Senate.
“If you had been from the North, I am sure you won’t have made that statement for Kwankwaso to withdraw for Labour Party. When we sat down, what I told them is what I will tell you. If they want Kwankwaso to withdraw, let them bring the criteria, and I will select the best. Anytime they have a better candidate, I am ready to talk to him.”
Speaking further, Kwankwaso said if elected as the president of Nigeria, his administration has the practical plan to lift over 133 million Nigerians who according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) are living in abject poverty.
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“For a country generously endowed with human and material resources like Nigeria, this is totally unacceptable. We have a practical plan to confront and defeat poverty through targeted poverty alleviation and elimination strategies that ensure families at the bottom of the social ladder have access to food, clothing, quality education, basic healthcare, and basic housing needs,” the NNPP leader said. “To ensure that those lifted out of poverty do not return into the poverty bracket, we shall ensure that beneficiaries of our poverty elimination programs maintain good paying vocation, high-yielding investment, and strategic savings to ensure individual family and community prosperity.”
“Deliberate steps will be taken from our first day in office to end youth unemployment in our country,” he added. “In specific terms, over two million job opportunities will be created in the armed forces, police, and other security agencies; mass housing plan will provide opportunities to more than one million Nigerian youths annually; our agricultural mechanization agenda will create over two million opportunities annually to place our youths in gainful and productive engagement across the agricultural value chain; our proposed revolution in critical infrastructure will provide over three million regular opportunities in the transportation sector, and in the power sector.
Kwankwaso also said that “When it comes to security concerns, the main targets of our security strategy are to secure or to ensure that all Nigerians enjoy the freedom to live in dignity, freedom from fear, and from want and to create a conducive climate for investment and Collective prosperity,” Kwankwaso said .