USAfrica: Kwankwaso says Igbos good in business, poor in political strategies

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Kwankwaso-n-Obi

Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.

Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, technocrat, former Governor of Kano state of Nigeria (1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015) has pointedly told the Igbo of south eastern Nigeria that they are very good in business but do not play the politically strategic moves necessary to gain power at the center.

His comments which were made after the inauguration of the Gombe State secretariat of the NNPP have raised the stakes on the next moves for LP and NNPP. USAfrica has some excerpts:                                                          “The South-East is good in terms of business, very hard working and industrious, but one area they must learn is politics. They are at the bottom line…. If you look at the situation, they have lost out with APC and PDP; no President, no Vice President. The only opportunity the South East has to be President or Vice is with the NNPP. Coincidentally, the party was registered by an Igbo man from Anambra State. This is the only golden opportunity that they have. If they lose this opportunity, it will be a disaster. You see the young men and women who keep saying they are marginalised whereas no one is marginalising them because it (politics) is based on calculation.”

Specifically, he mentioned the negotiations with Labour Party: “Someone was telling me that even if our friend (Peter Obi) wants to withdraw to accept VP, some people in the South East will not accept. All sorts of thinking which is not strategic. The best for the South East is to come and partner. Maybe after eight years, after our term, that is the only time they will say okay he is the best for the country. Eight years is just like eight days or months but if you are not prepared for it, it will come and leave you worse. We are flexible to get the right person. One of them is the Labour Party man (Peter Obi) you are talking about.”

He also touched on a long-running story about his last name: “I like people of the South-East so much that the Kwankwaso, Kwankwasiyya you hear, many thought it Okonkwo and sons. They said because an Hausa man can’t say Okonkwo and sons, he now turned it to Kwankwaso.”

Kwaknwaso’s base, Kano State, has the highest number of local governments and votes for any State in Nigeria’s political arithmetic. But it is not enough to win a presidential election while Obi’s candidacy has blossomed into a popular movement across the country. The key and critical issue is how much of that escalating popularity will be bagged as actual votes in February 2023.

The experienced former Senator and Defence Minister of Nigeria added that the party he leads (New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP) has held several rounds of talks with Peter Obi of the Labour Party over who should lead the possible merger of the two groups/parties.

Obi is Igbo and Kwankwaso is Hausa. It seems Kwankwaso needs Obi as much as Obi needs Kwankwaso. The challenge is who will be at the top of the ticket? Or… By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica magazine and USAfricaonline.com

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