Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, has said he is happy that Nyesom Wike and Dave Umahi, whom he described as performers, did not win presidential tickets of their parties.

The former governor of Kano said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi capital.

Wike, governor of Rivers and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost the ticket to Atiku Abubakar, while Umahi, Ebonyi governor, lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to Bola Tinubu.

Kwankwaso said the choice of candidates of the APC and PDP has given leverage for the NNPP to win the 2023 presidential election.

He said, “Of course, I would be very happy that people like Dave here, people like my friend, Wike, and many others, I would have been very happy with them as presidential candidates.

“But we didn’t want them as an opposition to go there, because we know these are people who have performed. You know that as an opposition, we want people who we can just easily walk on and win. And that is why we are so happy and comfortable now at the national level.

“In the north now, we are the party to beat. There is no APC. APC has failed the nation. That is why we left it. PDP has failed the nation. Eight years plus 16 years, which is 24 years, is what we are seeing here.

“You will not understand what we are saying because you have a good governor. The security is solid; the economy is not as bad as elsewhere and so on and so forth. But those of us coming from the north, we know what is happening — and even in parts of the east and across the country.

“So, we are so happy that the strong ones could not get or buy the tickets during the primary elections.”

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