Sunday 1 July 2018

Kwankwaso: I Can Guarantee PDP That I Will Beat Buhari If Given The Chance

The publisher of The Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu recently met Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Below is some excerpts from his interaction with Senator Kwankwaso. 

"I left him and headed to Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso’s home. We had met in South Africa last year and I was looking forward to this interaction. Our recent meeting was graciously arranged by his wonderful son, Mubarak, a much younger friend of mine, very calm and intelligent. Kwankwaso was having dinner with his hordes of supporters when his son sent him a message that I was around. He immediately asked that I should be ushered in to join them at dinner, but I already had mine. He looked very relaxed despite the tension of the moment. I waited for him to finish and we moved into his small office. He reminds me of the friend of the ‘talakawa’, in the mold of late Mallam Aminu Kano.

My first question to him was if he’s still in APC since he boycotted their National Convention in Abuja last week. He smiled, almost sarcastically, and said, it was obvious some people did not want to see his face there and he too did not dignify them with his presence. “A man who respects himself should never force himself on anyone,” he stated. He said he is proud of his contributions to APC and how God used him to deliver 1.9 million votes to Buhari in the last election. Does he mean he has finally dumped the party? He appeared serious this time without exhibiting any bitterness: “I’m a free man now and available to try my luck elsewhere but I know that PDP is the biggest party and as long as they follow democratic principle, Buhari will easily be defeated, but if they handpick and force any candidate on the party, they will fail. “

I really enjoyed the way he analysed things and broke down the politics of Presidential electioneering in his own simple terms: “PDP needs someone from the 3k States, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna to win the next election. That’s where the votes are. It would be difficult to win if they pick someone from any other zone…” This was a new approach to me. So, I asked if he feels he is the only candidate who can beat Buhari in a popularity contest, he said “of course, yes.” He likes to showcase his humongous achievements as the Governor of Kano State. He has compiled his work into a book and I must say, it is very impressive. He expects Nigerians to allow him to replicate what he has done in Kano nationwide. His experience also as a former Defence Minister makes him a veritable choice to tackle the menace of terrorism in Nigeria.

He claims he gave APC the structure that produced the monumental result that catapulted Buhari back to power and that he still holds that magic wand. He said there is no way Buhari can repeat such impressive showing in Kano when he is fighting him and his counterpart, the former Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau. He studiously avoided discussing the chances of Atiku picking the PDP ticket and if he would support whoever emerges as the flagbearer of the party. His simple and non-committal response is that he cannot hand votes over to those who are not better than him and that PDP would have to think well and make the best decision.

“I can guarantee them that I will beat Buhari if given the chance…” he declared before we stood up to take pictures to commemorate our meeting. As I said good night, I could see the face of a man so determined to go into battle with Buhari, but in need of a good and viable platform.

The next days ahead should be very interesting indeed"

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