© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Kwankwanso announces presidential bid in hotel after request for Eagle Square was denied
FORMER Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwanso, has officially declared his intention to run for Nigeria’s number one office in 2019, at Chida Hotel, Abuja, after his initial plan to hold the declaration event at the Eagle Square was thwarted at the last minute.
Addressing the mammoth crowd that witnessed the event, Kwankwaso promised to make education the cardinal point of his administration and to ensure that every Nigerian youth becomes knowledgeable in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“We believe that education is the cornerstone of any development and nation-building and are very strong for fighting inequality, injustice, and poverty. Education shall be a cardinal point of our administration,” Kwankwaso said.
“We shall provide ICT compliant high-quality personal development education and research for development. It will be made accessible to all.
“We are committed to providing good quality universal education from pre-primary to the tertiary and vocational school level. We shall provide accessible, quality education to all Nigerians.”
He also promised to resurrect Nigeria’s health sector, saying that “there will be medical education and training and health care will be accessible and affordable”.
This has been the tone of political office seekers in Nigeria during campaign seasons over the years, but all the promises are abandoned once they get into office.
The Kwankwanso campaign team had applied, paid, and gotten approval to use the Eagle Square for the event, but few days to the d-day, the company that manages the arena, wrote to say the approval has been denied on the grounds that it was a working day and a huge event of that magnitude could disrupt the flow of traffic into the National Secretariat, which is just beside the Eagle Square.
But many said the denial was to stifle the Kwankwanso’s presidential ambition, especially given his recent defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Eagle Square has been approved for use for major political events on weekdays, most recently on July 10 when the Buhari Youth Organisation held a rally there in support of Buhari’s 2019 presidential bid.
With his formal presidential declaration on Wednesday, Kwankwanso joins a growing list of presidential hopefuls on the platform of the PDP. The list includes prominent politicians like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Governors Ahmed Makarfi, and Sule Lamido, among others.