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Kwankwaso did not malign Igbo, says NNPP as Shettima’s VP chances ‘brighten’

By Leo Sobechi, Abuja
06 July 2022   |   2:32 am
National Chairman of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, has said the party’s presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso...

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso

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National Chairman of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, has said the party’s presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, did not denigrate Igbo when he inaugurated the Gombe State chapter executive.

He said Kwankwaso’s remarks were taken out of context, regretting that the attribution has generated ill feelings in some political circles, especially between the southeast region and NNPP.

In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, Alkali said: “As a party desirous to change the situation of the country, we believe that no Nigerian of any geopolitical zone, tribe, ethnic nationality, or religious persuasion is least on the rung of the ladder.”

He maintained that neither NNPP nor its presidential candidate would malign any zone or individual, since the party needs the votes of all electorates to govern Nigeria.

The statement reads in part: “According to the report, Kwankwaso, while inaugurating the Gombe executive, was quoted as having said southeast (Igbo people) are good in business, but at the bottom of politics in Nigeria.

“NNPP wishes to categorically state that the statement was situated out of context, as the NNPP presidential candidate has always emphasised that Igbo were frontrunners in the fight for the nation’s struggle for independence, and had produced the first President of the country in the person of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Senate, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, former Vice President, the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, four former Presidents of the Senate from 1999 till date, and other top political office holders.”

MEANWHILE, the chances of former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, becoming the vice presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 polls brightened, yesterday, as his successor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, reportedly declined the offer.

Checks by The Guardian revealed that following insistence by APC governors that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should select his running mate from among them, party leaders approached Zulum to take up the position.

However, a source privy to the ongoing search for “a fitting running mate” for Tinubu, said Zulum made it clear to those pressuring him to accept the offer of prospective vice president that his benefactor, Shettima, should take the offer.

THIS came as Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) called on candidates aspiring for political offices to present solid manifestoes instead of routine undocumented rhetoric.

President of ICSAN, Taiwo Owokalade, who made the appeal during the institute’s quarterly presidential briefing, said candidates should let Nigerians know their plans for the country and how they would move it forward.

He said Nigerians should eschew tribal or religious politicking and focus on competence and the antecedents of potential leaders.

Owokalade also lamented the current spate of insecurity, calling for state policing and urging states to use their resources to equip themselves.

In another development, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, appointed three additional aides into his media team.

A statement signed by Media Adviser to Atiku gave the names as: Eta Uso, Abdulrasheed Shehu and Demola Olanrewaju.

The appointments take immediate effect.