Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) will not collapse his campaign for another candidate, Ladipo Johnson, his spokesperson, has said.
Johnson who said this when he appeared as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Channel TV’s breakfast show, emphasized that there were no merger talks involving his principal anywhere.
His comments came amid speculations that the NNPP standard bearer may collapse his campaign for another person.
“No merger talks, well it’s too late for mergers but there is no talk of collapsing the campaign, his campaign, or the NNPP campaign at any level at the moment with any of the party or any of the candidate, that is not on the card yet,” he said on the show.
“What I mean when I say not yet is that we are going all the way to February 25 next year.
“As I said, we are focused on the elections. If you have the elections and as people are realising or postulating, there might be a situation for the first time where you do not have an outright winner, then you all have to talk to each other.
“So, no one takes that off the table, but as it were for the first game, to use a football term, Senator Kwankwaso is contesting, we are going all the way, that I can tell you,” Johnson added..
He accused those who keep saying that Kwankwaso will collapse his structure for other candidates of being mischievous.
“I can tell you for certain that these rumours started months ago, so it’s not out of what they see now, it is out of mischief and we have treated this several times, and I keep saying that he has no reason to want to step down for any of the other candidates. But we will listen to any of them who think they want to work with us not us working with them.”
When asked about his thoughts on postulations that the election is a three-horse race rather than four which rules out his party, Johnson blamed it on the press.
“I can easily tell you why that happened, a lot of the press are situated down here in the southern part of the country. I don’t want to say just Lagos, and I have told a lot of my friends in the press that you can’t call elections in Nigeria without knowing what is going on elsewhere in the core north. We have made that mistake many, many times.
“In the activities that I said we have been involved in for the past two to three months, Senator Kwankwaso is going around. I must admit that for one reason or the other, it was mostly an in-house thing, so except for pictures and videos that appeared via social media from members recording and whatever, we didn’t officially invite the press there.
“So, I say that is one of the reasons why there might be views being postulated in that direction. I assure you that once things kick off next week, and you begin to see the activities, then you will realise the groundswell of support that he has around the country.”
The NNPP campaign spokesperson also shed some light on why Kwankwaso failed to honour the invitation of the Northern Elders Forum for a recent event that it organised for presidential candidates.
He rejected the Northern Elders’ invitation because he believes he has good reason to believe some of the people involved were supporters of one of the presidential candidates and he has had his fingers burnt before in 2019 by some of those individuals. So, he immediately said, no I’m sorry I will not be attending that. Not as a slight to the people of the North or the other organisers,” Johnson explained, according to Channels TV.