A prominent member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Buba Galadima, on Monday, said if the major prerequisite for Nigeria’s presidency was capacity, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, was not comparable to the NNPP candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, by all standards.
Galadima, who acknowledged the desire of the South-east to produce a Nigerian president, however, contended that Obi should exercise some more patience, because he still had a lot to learn from Kwankwaso in leadership.
As discussions around the 2023 general election continued, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Monday, berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party for introducing the placeholder idea into the country’s electoral process. PDP urged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and be ready to vote out the ruling party.
Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, was a guest on The Morning Show, where he spoke on the electoral alliance between Obi and Kwankwaso.
He said, though Obi did well, as governor of Anambra State, primordial sentiments of where he comes from should be put aside for the unity of the country.
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According to him, “Chief Peter Obi was the governor of Anambra State, and he did his best to place Anambra on the map. But if you look at it, definitely, of all the issues that we raised, we had 20 parameters to judge the two gentlemen.
“However, when we started, the issue from Peter Obi’s side was that there is a sentiment in the South-east that the president must come from that extraction, and we say, no, we belong to a party called New Nigeria. Those are primordial sentiments that have never assisted Nigeria to become one.
“We are not yet one nation. And our objective is to eliminate all those primordial sentiments of tribe, where one comes from and religion. It is only us that have the capacity, if given the opportunity, to make that happen.
“We want to build a new Nigeria. Do we still fall back on primordial sentiments of where our work comes from and Nigeria remains what it is? We need someone with the capacity to run this country and I can’t see, using this parameter, that would place the candidate of the Labour Party above Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. But he has a lot to gain, because he is only 60 years old. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is 65.”
Galadima also addressed the notion being peddled on the social media about the presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, 77, and the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, 70, being too old to rule. He said, “So, if you now make Peter Obi as the president at 60, by the time he finishes his eight years, Senator Kwankwaso would have been 74 or 75 years.
“So, the young man on the social media, again, will say he’s too old to run for president. But if you allow Senator Kwankwaso to become the president and Chief Peter Obi becomes his vice president, it means at the time, Senator Kwankwaso will be finishing his eight years, Chief Peter Obi would have been 67 or 68 and will be strong enough to run for the president of Nigeria.”
Galadima described the development strides and economic performance of both Kwankwaso and Obi in Kano and Anambra states, respectively, as unprecedented, saying, if Obi were made to manage the economy as vice president and Kwankwaso managed the development of the country, it would bring Nigeria together as a unified entity.
“It will be a seamless transition from Kwankwaso to Peter Obi,” he stated, adding, “I believe that Nigerians should not use sentiments and that patience is of essence in this matter. For example, Tinubu was patient enough to wait for his time and at this age he picked up the ticket of the ruling party.
“I think people from the south should manage this, because it is easier and simpler for somebody from the South-east extraction to become president easily and supported by a sitting national government, which we intend to do.”
PDP Berates APC, Labour Party over Placeholder Creation
While addressing some students of Junior Secondary School, Alugun-Lungu Gwarimpa, Abuja, who visited the PDP national headquarters, the party’s national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the concept of placeholder was alien to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and the Electoral Act.
APC and Labour Party had submitted names of their presidential candidates and their running mates before the June 17 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But while the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, submitted Kabiru Masari as his running mate, Obi submitted the name of Doyin Okupe as vice presidential candidate. They were both billed to replace the two running mates latest July 15, when the window for substitution would close.
The PDP spokesperson, said, “Today, APC has introduced a new political lexicon into the political dictionary of Nigerian. They called it placeholder. There is nothing like placeholder in our law books. It is an imposition by the APC and Labour Party. It is nothing but an imposition on the political dictionary. It is an indication that they are not ready for the presidential election. It shows the level of their not being serious.
“It is part of the confusion that the APC is introducing into the political system. Just last month, the APC presidential candidate said he graduated from a university in United States, but did not fill or indicate where he obtained his primary and secondary school education.
“It is a known fact that you cannot graduate for studies without evidence of where you obtained your early education. Something is wrong and that is why Nigeria is asking that they provide such information.”
Ologunagba called on Nigerians to rally round the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his vice presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, stating that they represent a symbol of unity that would unite Nigeria and tackle the ravaging insecurity in the country.
According to Ologunagba, “APC represents a command dictatorship that has so far offered no relief to the sufferings of the people. Rather, what the APC has done is to triple the sufferings of our people.
“PDP as a party believes in negotiation and manages its differences, where there is one, but the APC has a command imposition structure, which is antithetical to democracy.”
The national publicity secretary told the students that Nigerians must use the opportunity of the general election to vote out APC, saying, “Nigerians cannot afford another four years of misrule by the APC. APC must be kicked out because we have had enough.”
Ologunagba described APC as a party of strange bedfellows that had nothing tangible to offer.
PDP Urges Nigerians to Get PVCs, Vote Out APC
In another development, PDP said it had concluded plans to hold a roadshow on the streets of Abuja to sensitise the citizens, especially the youth, to register and be ready to vote out APC in next year’s general election.
Addressing a press conference to herald the roadshow, acting National Chairman of the party, Aliyu Damagun, and the Youth Leader, Mohammad Suleiman Kadede, charged the youth to arm themselves with their voter cards to vote out APC next year.
Damagun said, “As you can see in this country, most of our youths today are idle. What is the cause? Bad governance? How do we change that? Go get your PVC. Go out there and sensitise people; let them come out en masse. All these ASUU strikes that we see, unemployment, banditry and what have you, are all due to bad governance. How do you change bad governance? It is to use your votes and act now.
“You have to go out there, get people informed, let them come out and get their PVCs so that we vote out this senseless government that has no direction. If you look at them, they don’t even have the mind to initiate this kind of thing. What they are thinking about is that come 2023, they will come and buy you off and continue to labour you, leave you at home, close down your schools and allow you to enter banditry. It’s up to you now to go out there and get your PVC.”
Kedede, on his part, said, “We can no longer deny or pretend that we are now at the lowest point in our national life. The youth of our country have become weary of the future. It is on this note that we call on all Nigerians to go out and get their PVCs, because this is the only tool to unseat them – these monsters at the corridors of power.
“The rate of insecurity is alarming and calls for urgent national attention. Ladies and gentleman, the Nigerian students have been out of school for over five months, with no solution in sight. The APC-led federal government has paid deaf ear to the plight of the Nigerian student, thereby, forcing them to roam about the street and become vulnerable to negative tendencies. It is, therefore, imperative for the Nigerian youth to go out and get their permanent voter cards in order to use their votes to unseat the wicked APC-led federal government.
“The persistent insecurity that has plagued the nation now for a while with no solution in sight is another manifestation of the complete incompetence and abandonment of government by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government. We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to take up their destinies in their hands and activate the office of the citizen by going all out to get their permanent voter cards.
“The Peoples Democratic Party is, no doubt, the last hope for the common Nigeria on the street. And so, we encourage you all to get your PVC ready for a brighter future. Your PVC is your power. Your PVC is your strength. Your PVC is your equipment to shape the future of your country.”
In her speech, National Women Leader of PDP, Professor Stella Atoe, said, “Every eligible Nigerian electorate has the constitutional right to determine who governs the country in which they are citizens. They have the power to change a bad and non-performing government through the use of their votes at the polling units during elections, and install a good one. The power through which this can be done is the acquisition of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC).”
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Funmi Ogundare