Kwankwaso set to declare for president
• PDP rules out automatic ticket for Melaye’s seat
After months of nationwide consultations with stakeholders, the Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial district, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has finalised plans to formally declare his intention to contest the presidential ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).Kwankwaso, who is also the immediate past Kano State governor, early this month moved to PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC), which platform he was elected to the Senate.
In a statement, the Kwankwaso Presidential Campaign Committee disclosed that dignitaries from all walks of life from across the country and the diaspora, especially members of the Kwankwasiyya Movement would grace the event scheduled for Eagle Square, Abuja on Wednesday August 29, 2018.
By his declaration, Kwankwaso would not only become the second presidential aspirant on the PDP platform from Kano, he would also be swelling the ranks of aspirants on the main national opposition party.Another former governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, had also signified his intention to become the PDP presidential standard bearer for next year’s poll, but unlike Kwankwaso and others maintained a low profile campaign style.
Although Senator Kwankwaso began his political odyssey in 1992 when he left the public service, he has occupied important offices, including member representing Madobi federal constituency in the botched third republic, Minister of Defence (2003) and Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Darfur and Somalia (2006).
He has continued to propound and propagate the Kwankwasiyya ideology, which lays emphasis on human capacity building, infrastructure development, economic empowerment and social engineering. The Senator embarked upon free school feeding programme during his stint as governor, but parted ways with his former political ally and successor, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, which partly led to his exit from the ruling APC.
Similarly, in a bid to check impunity and attendant disaffection among members, the Kogi West Senatorial District chapter of PDP has restated its stand against automatic ticket for any aspirant.The position was reinforced at a meeting held at General David Jemibewon’s residence, Aiyetoro Gbedde, by major stakeholders and executives of the party.
The stakeholders resolved that a level playing field should be provided for all aspirants for the party’s ticket in a free and fair primary.According to the party, the decision is in the best interest of PDP to ensure there is no trace of impunity or any action that might create disaffection, even as it urged members that recently joined the party to be ready for a free and fair contest with older members.
The party also reminded aspirants to be ready to fund their election, warning that no aspirant should expect manna to fall from heaven, just as it appealed to them to be of good conduct, work together and abide by the party’s rules and regulations.While describing the recent by-election into the Lokoja federal Constituency as a sham, PDP condemned in strong terms the conduct of INEC, saying it fell below minimum acceptable standard.
It also expressed worry at the level of violence during the election, calling out the state government for using political thugs and security agencies to undermine the integrity of the election.The party therefore called on the Federal Government to put machinery in place that would forestall future occurrence, stressing that if such measures were not put in place, people would have no choice than to resort to self-help.