Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), says his main focus is to ensure a better and a new Nigeria for all, if given the mandate in 2023 general election.
He said this at a town hall meeting, organised by a group, the New Dream for Grassroots Development (NDGD) on Thursday in Abuja.
Kwakwanso featured at the event alongside retired Maj. Hamza Al Mustafa of Action Alliance (AA), Mr Osakwe Johnson of National Renewal Movement(NRM) and Mr Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik of Young Progresive Party(YPP).
He said that his search has always been for a better and a new Nigeria.
Kwakwanso said this was his motive for joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying however, that they couldn’t provide the needed good governance, hence the need for an alternative.
“We believe in new Nigeria, that was why when we started in this republic I started with the PDP,unfortunately when we were forming the PDP in 1998 we only had one issue of kicking the military out.
“Then when I became governor, we realized that we were completely a different people in the same political party ,people from the extreme right to the extreme left.
“We thought along the line that there should be a change especially as the party was failing, that was why we formed APC and now everybody believes it is even worse.
“We thought it was necessary to bring an alternative that was why we intended to register our party but INEC was not in hurry to do that therefore we carefully selected NNPP based on its manifesto, believes and vision.
“We have a 152 page blueprint ,we looked at all the issues and going by my antecedent as civil servant and governor in Kano, we believe our party is the best party to handle the crisis situation in Nigeria,” he said.
Kankwaso promised to tackle Nigeria’s prevailing security challenge by increasing the number of security agents and the use technology as well as the use of intelligence gathering for proactive action.
He also promised to use his expertise as former governor of Kano state to bear in solving national issues.
He promised to ensure youth empowerment, through scholarship and job creation to harness their potential and build infrastructure, quality healthcare delivery ,free anti natal for women as well as boost the economy through various interventions.
“For our administration, no Nigerian child shall be denied the opportunity to write WAEC or NECO because of his inability to pay exorbitant registration and examination fees.”
Also speaking, retired Maj. Hamza Al Mustafa of AA, promised to address Nigeria’s challenges by adopting new methodologies, saying that his party studied Nigeria and noticed that it does not require routines but something away from the norm to address its challenges.
” We discovered that there is a lot of games around the Nigerian state and unless we work it out and unless you know it ,you will spend 1000 years without making a deference but adopting routines.
” We are not coming to provide leadership from the routine point of it ,we are realistic, we are down to earth we will take painful decisions, we will take courageous decisions for the common good of Nigerians today and in future.
“Sorry to our security, one of the major mistakes is mixing the police with the military, 23 years today everybody is talking about hopelessness when it comes to physical security.
” We succeeded in demilitarised the military and succeeded on the other hand in militarising the police so we are not comfortable with the two,” he said.
Al Mustafa, pledged to carry out a surgery on the security sector by transforming it scientifically for new direction, doctrine ,vision and physiological reorientation among others.
He promised to tackle the security challenges head-on for a safer nation for businesses to thrive.
Mr Osakwe Johnson of National Renewal Movement(NRM), said there was need for the old generation to take the back seat and allow the new generation to take over the affairs of the nation .
“Everyone will agree with me that in your wardrobe we have what we call old clothes ,the old clothes fades and you find it difficult to put it on.
“So we are saying in 2023 ,old Nigerians, those who have governed us in the past should stand as advisers as lecturers not forcing themselves on us so that Nigeria will continue the old ways of doing things,” he said.
Johnson tasked the presidential candidates to ask themselves why they wanted to become the president, asking whether it because of power, or because they wanted to make more money or because they wanted a new Nigeria?
He said that the NRM has a lot to offer the nation adding that haven been in U.S for 30 years in addition to being a clergy for 40 years he has what it took to govern Nigeria.
He said that the party would rescue Nigeria as the nation was in coma and needed to be rescued from its challenges, pledging to revamp the economy and educational sector as well as create jobs for youths.
Mr Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik of the Young Progresive Party (YPP), said that his target was to stop the current mass brain drain in the country, by creating conducive atmosphere for Nigeria’s professionals to thrive.
Abdulmalik said although he might not be able to fix all the challenges facing Nigeria in four or eight years, he would concentrate on fixing the electricity and boosting the power sector which was the bedrock of development.
“The world cannot work without electrical power, and we fool ourselves saying we are going to do X Y Z but the basic human rights of power has not been given to us.
“We must as a nation demand that from the next leader of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because if you find that, you have productivity, if you fix that, you have better healthcare, security and a healthy nation.
“I do not proffer to have a magic that will to be able to do this but in the last five years, I built 20 gigawart of power that is 50 times more than what Nigeria has right now used technology, if that is problem, I have built some here already.
“In Adamawa I built a stand alone power plant with six megawatts, the job requires bravery, vision, empathy but above all, the job requires that we work together,” he said.
Abdulmalik said that Nigerian professionals were running abroad for greener pastures, promising to halt the situation, if given the mandate in 2023.
“We need our people and I tell you the biggest theft is not Nigerians stealing, the biggest theft is the rest of the world stealing the best of Nigerians and taking them away for free.”
He promised to reverse that trend and make Nigeria a better place where things would work and called on everyone to put hands on deck to make project Nigeria work.
Speaking earlier, Mr Onwubuya Breakforth, the Director-General, NDGD, organisers of the town hall meeting, said it was created to assist the electorate to make informed decisions as to who to elect among the 18 presidential candidates in 2023 poll.
“The candidates will address us on various issues, but the difference will be on who proves to know how to enthrone a robust productive new Nigeria where all nationalities are neither discriminated nor denied their rights as bonafide citizens.
“As Nigerians head to the poll barely two months to elect a new president along with state governors and legislators, millions of our people are ready with their PVCs.