The National Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, has said the party’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, did not denigrate Igbos.
Alkali said Kwankwaso believes that the Southeast are forerunners in the country’s political sphere.
He was reacting to a recent comment by the former Kano State governor that the Southeast was good in business but at the bottom of Nigeria’s political ladder.
Kwankwaso had made the remark in Gombe State while noting why he can’t be the running mate of the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
However, Alkali said Kwankwaso’s remark was taken out of context.
In a statement he issued, Alkali said: “Kwankwaso, while inaugurating the Gombe executive, was quoted as having said Southeast (Igbo people) are good in business, but at the bottom of politics in Nigeria.
“NNPP wishes to categorically state that the statement was situated out of context, as the NNPP presidential candidate has always emphasised that Igbo were frontrunners in the fight for the nation’s struggle for independence, and had produced the first President of the country in the person of the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Senate, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, former Vice President, the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, four former Presidents of the Senate from 1999 till date, and other top political office holders.”
There have been calls for Kwankwanso and Obi’s parties to merge ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Amid the claims, Kwankwaso was said to have proposed the position of his running mate to Obi.
But, Obi had dismissed such, stressing that he can’t be Kwankwaso’s running mate.