The New Nigeria Peoples Party has said its presidential candidate, Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso, will not step down for his Peoples Democratic Party’s counterpart, Atiku Abubakar.
Telescope.ng reports that the spokesman for the NNPP, Major Agbo, who disclosed this in an interview with one of our correspondents, faulted a report that northern leaders were pressurising Kwankwaso to step down for Atiku.
Reacting to the report, Agbo, asked, “How can anybody come out to say Kwankwaso should step down for Atiku? No, it is Atiku that should step down.”
According to him, Kwankwaso is in the race to win, stressing that he will emerge the next president of the country.
The NNPP spokesperson did not, however, rule out the possibility of alliance talk, which he said would be done on its terms.
When asked about the update on the alleged talks between his party and the presidential campaign team of the Labour Party, Agbo dismissed the report.
“Go and ask Okupe (Dr Doyin Okupe). He was the one who scuttled the first alliance talk because he came into the negotiation with his ‘unusual’ agenda that Obi should be made the president. How can Obi be president over Kwankwaso?”
Also, the National Chairman of NNPP, Rufai Alkali, also shared the same position as Agbo when he described the report as untrue.
Alkali, a Professor of Political Science said the report was the handiwork of persons bent on deceiving Nigerians to score cheap political points.
He said: “It is completely false. We are not surprised at all that this story is coming out this way at this time. All discerning Nigerians have been following the pattern.
“They first said our candidate was going to step down for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. When we debunked it, they said the NNPP had surrendered to the Labour Party and Peter Obi. When we explained the circumstances, they kept quiet.
“Next, there was an attempt by our elders at the Arewa Consultative Forum dialogue for Presidential candidates to present their manifestos. We agreed with the organizers but we realized that there were forces working to undermine the process by using the platform to endorse a Northern candidate. When Kwankwaso did not appear, that project collapsed.
“In the past few weeks, our candidate presented his blueprint which came out very solid. He was at the AriseTV -CDD Presidential debate which was very successful. He travelled to the South-East, and spent three days in Enugu and Abakiliki.
“With all these achievements, fear has gripped them. They have now come up with another card that he is under pressure to step down. Step down for who? Under what circumstances? Has it happened in the history of democracy in Nigeria that a Presidential candidate with a strong party backing him, with Nigerians urging him to move on, will surrender his structures to someone else?
“Now that he has become a shining star, they are scared. It is sheer propaganda and psychological warfare and all those behind this should stop.”