Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State has concluded consultations with political leaders nationwide and is now ready to declare his intention to contest the 2015 presidential elections.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Abuja on Monday by one of Kwankwaso’s campaign coordinators, Chief Olisaemeka Akamukali.
According to Akamukali, Kwankwaso, who will announce his intention on October 23, has age, political experience and a good followership at the grassroots on his side.
“We agree that Buhari is a man of integrity but you will also agree with me that age is not on his side. He is 71 going to 72 years, while the ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is almost 70 years old.
“But Kwankwaso will be 58 years old by October 21; it is also not true that the governor is a dark horse in the contest. Kwankwaso has had long years of experience in politics beginning from 1991 when he emerged the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.
“He had been a parliamentarian, a governor and two-time minister. Upon losing the election in Kano State, he congratulated the winner and waited for eight years before staging a come-back to defeat the incumbent.
“The governor is a grassroots politician and one who tries to carry his followers along in his undertakings,’’ Akamukali said.
The campaign coordinator said he would not be surprised if the governor’s former colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would want to support his aspiration to become president.
On the governor’s qualification, Akamukali said Kwankwaso had a doctorate in engineering, had not been convicted by any competent court, thereby not being wanted by the EFCC or other government anti-graft agencies.
Kwankwaso belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He had earlier on Monday said two PDP governors would soon defect to APC.
Kwankwaso said this when he paid a courtesy visit on his Kwara counterpart, Abdulfatah Ahmed while in Ilorin as part of his consultations for the presidential ticket for the 2015 election.
The governor described APC members as practical people with extensive grassroots reach to tackle corruption and other national malaise.
“Our economy can never be good in a situation of crisis; our economy can never be good in the face of corruption,” Mr. Kwankwaso said.
He said that in line with the constitution, the APC would explore the possibility of consensus presidential candidate within the ambit of democratic culture.
He commended the Kwara Government for initiating poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes to reduce youth unemployment and restiveness.
Governor Ahmed assured that the choice of the APC presidential candidate for 2015 general elections would be devoid of acrimony and strengthen the party.
Mr. Ahmed said that Nigeria had the misfortune of bad leadership and expressed hope that APC would evolve more qualitative leadership after taking over the Federal Government.
He said APC was the fastest growing party in Nigeria and the only truly national political party, given the nature of its emergence as an off shoot of mega parties.