The Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has turned down an invitation for an interactive session organised for presidential candidates by the Arewa Joint Committee.
The interactive session was organised by several northern groups, including the Arewa Consultative Forum, Arewa House Centre for Historical Research, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Northern Elders Forum, and Arewa Research and Development Project.
The event is aimed at interacting with the presidential candidates on their policy, ideologies and plans for the region.
While the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar and two other parties met with the Northern groups on Saturday, the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu; Peter Obi of the Labour Party and; Mr Mr Kwankwaso are expected to have their turn on Monday.
However, in a letter to the organisers dated October 14 and signed by his campaign spokesperson, AbdulMumin Jibrin, the candidate stated that the timing of the interactive session coincided with the campaign team’s schedule of activities.
Mr Kwankwaso also added that his decision to decline the invitation is based on credible intelligence that some compromised members would use the event to endorse a certain northern candidate.
While revealing the alleged plot, Mr Kwankwaso boasted that he is more popular and understands the issues affecting the northern region more than his co-contestants.
“We have credible information in our possession that shows that some people have been compromised and these people have concluded plans to turn the event into an endorsement platform for a particular candidate,” the letter reads.
We believe that it is very wrong for any group to clandestinely plan to endorse any candidate in the name of the North, especially when we have more than one candidate from our region. And our candidate enjoys more acceptability amongst the northern masses and across the country than any other candidate.
“No one, among all the candidates, has the combination of experiences at the executive, legislative, diplomatic, civil service as well as security levels like Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
“We are therefore advising you not to do anything that will ridicule the legacies of Sir Ahmadu Bello and other famous Northern Leaders like of Sir Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, and JS Tarka, etc. by attempting to endorse an unpopular candidate at the expense of a more competent, more experienced and more credible one.
We note that the earlier date was even postponed and a new date was fixed to coincide with the date of the rally of one of the presidential candidates in Kaduna.
“This further gives credence to the information in our possession that the event is being financed by that candidate.
“In the circumstance, and based on the above observations, our candidate will be unable to honour your invitation.”