The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) says its Presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, will not step down for anyone in the February 25 presidential election.
The national chairman of NNPP, Rufai Alkali, who said the party was not in alliance talk with the PDP, disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing a news conference in Abuja.
“Our candidate will not step down because of so many reasons, which include competence, capacity, vibrance, articulation and acceptability. Our members have been worried because we have huge crowds in the South and the North,” said Mr Alkali.
The NNPP chair added, “Our presidential candidate is campaigning. Our governorship candidates, senatorial candidates, House of Representatives candidates and the state House of Assembly candidates have been campaigning. Since we came up with this mantra for a new Nigeria, we’ve not been engaged in unnecessary controversy. As a responsible party, we have been taken for granted. We are not in talks with any party.”
According to Mr Alkali, Kwankwaso is a forerunner in the presidential contest.
“The election of 2023 is different. Some leaders whose agenda is to work for some candidates want a northern candidate. We kept quiet when the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said he was the northern candidate,” the NNPP leader stressed. “They talk about a government of national unity. Nobody is talking about that.”
He added, “We are not planning an alliance with Atiku. He should respect his age, and he can’t force anyone to endorse him.”
Mr Abubakar on Tuesday hinted at his readiness to work with Mr Kwankwaso and Labour Party’s Peter Obi after meeting with them to support his ambition in the forthcoming election.
He disclosed this in a 15-minute interview with the BBC Hausa service.
Speaking with the interviewer in the Hausa language, Mr Abubakar said Messrs Obi and Kwankwaso did not threaten his chances of winning this month’s presidential election.
“Although I see no threat in any of them, we are in talks, and the discussion might yield a positive result that will see one of them coming.”