NNPP Woos Osinbajo, May Offer Him Presidential Ticket If He Joins Party
By Temidayo Akinsuyi
WDr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has indicated an interest in stepping down for the Vice-President, Prof, Yemi Osinbajo to run on the party’s platform ahead of the 2023 presidential election, Daily Independent has gathered.
A credible source in the camp of the former Kano state governor and one-time Minister of Defence said he had already met with some stakeholders in Osinbajo’s camp and offered to serve as a running mate if the Vice- President, who is currently a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) agrees to join the NNPP and run on its platform.
According to him, even though Osinbajo has not been contacted directly on the issue, Kwankwaso believes he will accept the proposal and that was why he has not made a strong commitment to the proposed alliance between the NNPP and the Labour Party which has Peter Obi, former Anambra state governor as its presidential candidate.
Although the NNPP has already submitted the name of Kwankwaso as its presidential candidate, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave a window to political parties to make a final substitution of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates before August 8.
Osinbajo who had sought the APC presidential ticket came a distant third behind former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state at the presidential primary of the APC held earlier this month at Eagles Square in Abuja.
While Tinubu emerged the winner with 1,271 votes, Amaechi had 316 votes while Osinbajo polled 235 votes.
However, our source said that Kwankwaso is optimistic that Osinbajo can still realise his dream of becoming Nigeria’s president on the NNPP’s platform.
“ Yes, former Kano state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who is the NNPP’s presidential candidate spoke with some stakeholders in the camp of the Vice- President that he would be ready to be running mate to VP Osinbajo under the NNPP platform”.
“He told them he strongly believes that he and VP have a lot in common and that that given their popularity, especially in the northern parts of the country, both of them will form a formidable tag team that will defeat the APC and PDP”; he said.
When contacted, an associate of Osinbajo, who said he was aware of the moves, however, said Osinbajo is not desperate to become president and so, may not accept the proposal.
“Yes, I am aware of the move. In fact, there are even some people who have joined NNPP already like former Kano state governor, Ibrahim Shekarau who are staunch promoters of the Vice- President” .
“But no pressure of any kind is being mounted on him to dump the APC for NNPP as some people have claimed. No one has made such overtures to him, but some in his team have heard about the potential offer. The Vice-President will not leave the party APC” he categorically said.
“The argument from those pushing this idea of an Osinbajo-Kwankwaso ticket is that Osinbajo is the most sellable Nigerian politician today that can most easily win a presidential election and command a national mandate that can truly turn things around” he concluded.