As the Kano State governor, Engnr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso prepares to declare his presidential bid on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) tomorrow, one of his coordinators from the South-west region, Mr Ladipo Johnson has said that the governor will beat General Muhammadu Buhari, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar and other contenders and emerge as APC’s presidential candidate on a level-playing field in the party’s primary slated for December 8, 2014.
Johnson told LEADERSHIP yesterday that even though he had high regard for Buhari and Atiku, the younger population of Nigerians which make up about 80 per cent of voters would prefer a Kwankwaso candidacy that can give the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan a run for their money.
“The younger Nigerians are looking for a young, vibrant and disciplined leader who can drive the change that Nigerians want and that person from the APC is Kwankwaso,” he said.
Giving reasons for his position, Johnson said having been deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and two-time governor of a populous and commercial state such as Kano, Kwankwaso has what it takes to rule the country.
He said, “In addition to his political pedigree is the infallible fact that Kwankwaso has revolutionalised infrastructure in Kano State. We have seen the premium he places on education. The country at the moment is not doing well with education as can be seen in the budgeting preference. Nigeria has continued to budget for education below the United Nations’ stipulated 20 per cent. Incessant strikes by lecturers, mass failure in WAEC and the recent lull in the Nigeria Law School are some of the manifestations of a poor education system run by the government of Nigeria today.”
He noted that Kwankwaso had shown by his performance in the education sector in Kano State that he can do far better than what the PDP government is doing.
problems and bring tangible results in a short time,” he said.
“Employment is not an isolated factor. When a country has a sustainable economic growth, it will attract investment and jobs will be created. I do not believe in setting up a certain government agency and recruiting people into it. When there is power and security, investment must come and this will produce jobs,” he added.
He further explained that Kwankwaso runs a disciplined government at the state level and that those who know him are strongly convinced that this will be replicated at the federal level.
“He has run his state providing huge social infrastructure without borrowing. In fact, it may interest Nigerians to know that this man met a debt of over N7 billion when he took over as governor of Kano State. Out of this amount, more than N1 billion was indebted to various hotels by the previous government. That is sheer extravagance and misuse of public fund. But Kwankwaso has diligently and carefully run Kano State blocking further wastages. His government will block wastages in the system and introduce discipline in the system.
“He is the only governor that publishes periodically accounts of the state in the papers, that is accountability in action. I believe that if he can do so well in a commercial state as Kano, he can do even better as president. His government has boosted small and medium enterprises and as we know SMEs are highest employers of labour that will assure sustainable growth. I am excited at a younger candidate as Kwankwaso and Nigerians are waiting to hear him declare his presidential ambition tomorrow. I implore Nigerians not to look at ethnicity or religion but believe in what they are convinced that he can do,” Johnson explained.
Kwankwaso has said he would support a consensus candidate. But Johnson said given a level-playing ground in the December 8 primary, Kwankwaso would emerge preferred flag bearer of the APC, even as he hinted that the governor would support any candidate who emerged under a free and fair situation.