For Competence, Equity, Kwankwaso Should’ve Been Obi’s Deputy – Aisha Yesufu

Aisha Yesufu

Popular human rights activist, Aisha Yesufu, has said former Kano State governor and presidential candidate, Mr. Rabiu Kwankwaso should have agreed to run with Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

Yesufu in an interview with Sunday Punch said Obi a former governor of Anambra State and running mate to Atiku Abubakar has more national appeal than Kwankwaso.

She said: “In my opinion, Obi should have been the candidate and Kwankwaso the running mate. This is not about age or who is older. With what is on ground now, Peter Obi is more competent, and we have had eight years of a northerner being a president, so it’s only fair for the presidency to move to the other part of the country to maintain a balance. If they win the election, with the current arrangement, it would go back to the North and Kwankwaso could contest. Also, if you look at it in terms of the reach right now, Peter Obi has a wider reach than Kwankwaso.

“It’s my opinion and others could have theirs. Given the critical times we are in, it’s not to say he (Kwankwaso) would collapse his structure. We are already telling people to vote for candidates, not the political party. People who already won the party’s ticket for other positions like state and national assemblies and governorship would still fly the party’s flag. If they are competent persons, people would still vote for them. At the end of the day, you would have what you normally have in a parliamentary system where you have like two parties coming together to form a government. That’s what it would have been like. We look forward to seeing what both of them would come up with eventually”.

“Let’s look at the example of the United States. Joe Biden had more experience than former President Barrack Obama and he (Biden) stayed longer at the senate than Obama did but that didn’t stop him from being a running mate. Biden was older and had been in politics before Obama. At the time Obama contested, he (Biden) didn’t run but he later did and today he’s the president of the United States.

” I think at every moment, it should not be about our selfish interest; it should be about what is good for the nation and people should be able to read the mood of their environment. Something is going on; the Nigerian youths are rallying round Peter Obi, so there is a momentum that is being built around him. Kwankwaso doesn’t even have the movement up till now, so what is wrong with being a running mate. It shouldn’t be about the age, or I have done this for this long and such things. It should be about what is the right thing to do. It’s unfair we are even thinking about another northerner, who is also a Muslim when we just currently have someone from there. Where is the equity in that? Ordinarily, we would have loved to say we only need people who are competent but this is where we are now.

“They (Obi and Kwankwaso) were both in the Peoples Democratic Party and in 2019 I think there was a sort of gentleman’s agreement whereby a lot of candidates from the South stayed away, and now it’s their turn to stay away and people are coming to say something else. It’s just not fair. People must always have a sense of belonging in their country. At this point, I think it’s only fair to say let power go back to the South and in the southern part, there is a region that has yet to produce a president, and beyond that he’s among the frontline presidential candidates that we have”, she went further to say.

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