Rabiu Kwankwaso, a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has stated how the party can retrieve the power it lost to the All Progressive Congress, (APC).
Mr Kwankwaso, is a former governor of Kano State. Although now representing Kano Central at the Senate he is one of the lawmakers who recently defected from the APC to the PDP.
The lawmaker, while he was governor of Kano State, was among rebel governors who pulled out of the PDP and pitch tent with APC at the time. He came second in the presidential primary of the now ruling party.
Kwankwaso has not been in good terms with his longtime political ally and incumbent governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje.
His political machinery is named Kwankwasiya. They are widely known for donning a red cap.
In an interview with Premium Times, the Kano lawmaker said the only option left for the PDP to grab back power is to make him the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 general election.
He said going by his years of experience as a civil servant and a politician, he was the only one in the opposition party capable of defeating President Muhammadu Buhari who is also in the race. Mr Buhari is seeking re-election under the platform of the APC.
Kwankwaso also said the president was politically afraid of him because of his wide coverage in the country mostly in Northern Nigeria.
“Today, in every house, especially here in Northern Nigeria, you get at least one person who is a member of the Kwankwasiya Movement. Whether he or she is putting our colour, the red cap or not, you have one, maybe the driver or the cook, the cleaner, or the son, or the wife or the man the leader of the house himself,” he said.
“So, we are very strong and I think I am the only person with that strength. If I get ticket, I will come with millions of people into the contest for the support of my candidature as members of Kwankwasiya.
“But – others will only wait for PDP to mobilise and give them members of the PDP. You also know that I come from Kano, the most populous state in this country, going by 2006 census and the most popular zone and also the zone of this sitting president.”
When asked if this was what it will take to unseat the president, Kwankwaso affirmed positively.
“Certainly. Everybody knows it, including the president himself. He knows if I get the ticket, I will defeat them.
“…but I can tell you if I get the ticket, the job is done and PDP will take the seat and come back to power with better determination, with better experience so that all these division we have today in this country, can be cemented.”
The PDP has 12 aspirants including Kwankwaso and the former Kano governor believes he is better than 11 other contestants.
He described Kwankwasiya as an ideology with is also growing in the southern part of the country with over 700,000 membership from the protectorate.