Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has said northerners will not vote for Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) if he is made the standard-bearer of the merger of the two parties.
Gatekeepers News reports that Kwankwaso said northern voters will pick a northern candidate instead of voting Obi or any south-eastern candidate who is made the standard-bearer of any party.
Kwankwaso said this while speaking on a Channels TV programme on Sunday.
In a bid to defeat the two major political parties — the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the NNPP and the LP are currently discussing a possible merger ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“The implication is if you put somebody from the south-east, unfortunately, there are many issues in the south-east. You see, northern voters are the worst hit by this country’s maladministration issue. Even under that circumstance, a northern voter also believes that he is better as a one united Nigeria. Most of the things happening in the south, especially in the south-east, people are not too comfortable with that and as long as we have anyone from there in any party, it will be very difficult for northern voters to vote,” Kwankwaso said.
“And that’s the situation now, and those workers that are working against LP, south-east and so on, what they believe is if you put anybody under this arrangement from that side of the country, the northern voters will not vote; and who will they go to? Their own candidate in the north.”
“What I am telling you is if anybody now from the south-east under this circumstance becomes the presidential candidate of our party or any other party, the implication is that the activities and many other issues underground, northern voters will certainly go for their northern candidate in another party.”
However, the NNPP presidential candidate stated that if the ongoing talks on merger between the two parties yield a good result, he will be willing to have Obi as his running mate.
“As long as he wants the vote from the north, that is the situation, unfortunately, today,” he added.
Gatekeepers News earlier reported that Kwankwaso described nominating Obi as his running mate as “a golden opportunity”.