“There is no gainsaying that all is not well with the polity… the same mindset that created and escalated the problems cannot be used in resolving the ongoing crises”
• Bafarawa, Turaki pick PDP nomination forms
Ndubuisi Orji and Obi Okwe, Abuja
Former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has promised to unite Nigerians, and revamp the economy if he is elected as president in the 2019 general elections.
Kwankwaso made the pledge yesterday in Abuja, while declaring his interest to contest next year’s presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Members of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, the political group of the former governor and his supporters, took over the Chida International Hotel, Abuja, venue of the declaration and adjourning streets, while the event lasted.
READ ALSO: Kwankwanso and politics of 2019
But the event was devoid of police presence , leaving the security arm of the Kwankwasiyya movement with the task of providing security within the vicinity.
The former governor had earlier been denied the use of Eagle Square and old Parade Ground in Abuja, by the government, for his formal declaration.
Addressing the gathering, Kwankwaso said there is no doubt that all is not well with the polity, noting that insecurity, unemployment has become the order of the day in the last three years.
He stated that it is obvious that the same people, who created and escalated the problems in the country, cannot be able to resolve them. Consequently, the former Kano State governor, who is also a serving senator, said he has decided to contest the presidential poll, so as to offer a paradigm shift in the leadership of the country.
According to him, “there is no gainsaying that all is not well with the polity. It is also clear that the same mindset that created and escalated the problems cannot be used in resolving the ongoing crises in our nationhood and national development.
“I offer positive change. Change has again become inevitable. To live is to witness changes because change is an inseparable part of living. Come May 2019, the narrative of helplessness, buck-passing, division, poverty, insecurity and hopelessness must change to a new dawn of confidence in building a well-restructured Nigeria.”
Kwankwaso added that as President, “the fulcrum of our leadership will be the enhancement of a united Nigeria couched within the matrix of productivity and a shift from the sense of entitlement by office holders and their hangers on.
“We will strive to create an atmosphere where every Nigerian has an equal opportunity to contribute. Our restructuring will be to ensure an inclusive political, social and economic space for all.
“The primary responsibility of the government is security of life. My understanding of National security transcends the stereotype limiting it to the Armed Forces and other security agencies. As former Minister of Defence, I understand security from that point; it covers more and includes the entire scope of food, health care delivery, education, economic prosperity, and enjoyment of human rights on the physical defence and security side. There is the need for a welI-timed, motivated, well-equipped and intelligence propelled security architecture, that requires decisive options of strengthening and equipping the military while restructuring the Police to make it more effective.
“An ill equipped, unmotivated, deprived and over-tasked soldier cannot perform maximally. We shall motivate all affected communities, the military and the police to put an end to all killings. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for killings by Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen, kidnappers, human traffickers and abductors. We will provide an atmosphere where there will be security, safety, serenity and sanity.”
Apart from prioritising capital expenditure, so as to address the infrastructural deficit in the country, Kwankwaso also promised to promote human capital development.
On the economy, the presidential hopeful said in recent times, tight economic policies, exchange rates, inflation and unemployment have hindered the growth and survival of businesses in the country.
He said “our focus shall be on sound economic policies that will ensure a new regime of exchange rate stability, low interest rates and reduction in the country’s rising burden of domestic and foreign loans.”
Meanwhile, former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa yesterday rejected calls by some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the party to have a consensus presidential candidate.
Bafarawa, who spoke at the PDP secretariat in Abuja, after he picked his expression of interest and nomination forms for the party’s presidential primary said consensus candidacy will defeat the essence of the contest.
He however noted that if any aspirant wants to withdraw from the contest, it is up to that aspirant.
The former governor added that the number of presidential hopefuls in the PDP is an indication that the party is democratic and acceptable to Nigerians.
“If we say that we are going for consensus, what are we going to do with it? We agree we are all brothers. We see it as a game. Therefore, if anybody is interested in withdrawing himself from the race, it’s a welcome idea.
“But talking of consensus, you are going to fall like APC where we are going to have a one-man show. We don’t want to go for one-man show. We want to practise democracy so that people will choose their own better candidate,” Bafarawa said.
In a related development, former minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki, also said he will defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections, if he gets the opposition party’s presidential ticket.
Taminu, who was represented by the Director of Publicity in his campaign organisation, Sola Atere, spoke after obtaining Turaki’s forms for the PDP presidential primary at the party’s secretariat yesterday.
The former minister stated that those boasting that President Buhari has 12 million guaranteed votes in the north are living in the past.
He said Nigerians across the country have seen that the present administration has nothing to offer them.
“What they are saying was way back in 2015. Things have changed. When you have not been in power, you can make all sorts of forecasts. Now the scenario has changed. Nigerians have seen to what extent the APC government can perform.
“And if you look at a lot of the projects they are laying claim to, they were established by the PDP,” Turaki said.