Chatham house: Wrong priorities, mistakes responsible for Nigeria’s challenges – Kwankwaso

PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, has said that mistakes and wrong priorities set by the country’s leaders are responsible for the challenges plaguing the country.

Kwankwaso said this during a Chatham House presentation in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 18.

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“We can point figures at all sorts of factors allegedly responsible for our situation. From coronavirus to global, economic recession; from western powers to international capital, etc. But for me, we are where we are because of the mistakes and wrong choices made by the very people entrusted with the business of governing Nigeria in the last 24 years,” he said.

He noted that his understanding of the issues involved was responsible for his intention to run for presidency, adding that the burden of free and fair elections rests mainly on the presidency.

“My 30 years experience in politics has taught me that free, fair and credible elections require so many inputs, so many commitments. But the commitment of the President, in particular, and that of the presidency, in general, is key.

“If the presidency wants free and fair elections, it will happen. The burden of free and fair elections, much as it depends on the performance of INEC, politicians, security agencies and others, largely rests on the corridors of the presidency,” Kwankwaso said.

He urged Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari to leave a legacy of free and credible elections and ignore proposals seeking to undermine democracy ahead of the forthcoming exercise.

“I want to appeal to the Nigerian president to ensure that he leaves the legacy of free, fair, and credible elections. Luckily for us, the outgoing president was a serial victim of election rigging and manipulation and also the first beneficiary of free, fair and credible elections in 2015,” he said.

    Kwankwaso also noted that the forthcoming elections would be different, as Nigerians would not be swayed by financial tricks employed by politicians in the past.

    “I believe that the masses of Nigeria are very committed. Our fear now is that of INEC and other stakeholders because we have seen what happened in the past. And most of these issues are centred around the villa and the president, not necessarily this president but the ones before inclusive.

    “And as long as the leadership in Abuja will convince themselves to allow the people to go and vote, I have no doubt in my mind we are going to have free, fair and credible elections. And for me, I have not seen any reason why Buhari will not allow that to happen because, probably, it is one of the early and few legacies he will leave behind,” he said.

    Speaking on his plans if elected, the former governor of Kano State said he would create 500,000 classes in four years to tackle out-of-school children, foster unity in the country while addressing insecurity and other challenges.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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