The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has moved in defence of its presidential candidate and national leader over comments credited to him about the South East geopolitical zone and the 2023 presidential election, saying he was quoted out of context.
Kwankwaso, while inaugurating the Gombe State executive of the party last week, was quoted to have said that the people of South East are good in business but are at the bottom of politics in Nigeria, a remark which has been breeding bad blood among people from the zone and NNPP members.
But, in a statement issued by the party and personally signed by its national chairman, Prof Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, the NNPP said the report in the media was falsely credited to Kwankwaso.
Rufai stated: “However, as a party that is desirous to change the situation of the country, we believe that no Nigerian of any geopolitical zone, tribe, ethnic nationality, or religious persuasion is least on the rung of the ladder in the whole effort to bring the desired change in the country.
“The NNPP wishes to categorically state that the statement of its Presidential Candidate Senator Kwankwaso at the occasion was situated out of contest, as the NNPP Presidential candidate has always emphasized that the Igbos 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 late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Senate, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, former Vice President, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, four former Presidents of the Senate from 1999 to date and other top political office holders.
“NNPP as a political party on the ballot in 2023 believes that it has what it takes like some other political parties to rejuvenate the present situation of the country and will not in any way disparage any zone or people of any political party”.
NNPP further noted that while discussions with any political party or individual is an ongoing thing that would bring the desired change of a new Nigeria, the party or its presidential candidate “would not in any way malign any zone or any individual as we believe that NNPP we desire the votes of all the zones and all electorate to govern Nigeria.
“We want to state that NNPP will canvass votes from all Geo-political zones to win the 2023 Presidential election and would not in any way consider any zone less as we have supporters and candidates all over the country”, it added.