More reactions have continued to trail the meeting held between former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigeria Movement and ex-Kano State governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, among others. The leaders of National Intervention Movement (NIM) and other political parties also attended the meeting.
Sources told Daily Trust last night that Kwankwaso’s presence may have confirmed earlier speculation that the coalition was considering the former Kano governor as its candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
When contacted last night, Malam Naseer Kura, the Deputy Director General of NIM, said he was not surprised about the presence of Kwankwaso at the lagos meeting, adding, however, that consultation was still ongoing in the choice of political party and presidential flag bearer.
He said, “As far as NIM is concerned, we are still consulting with political parties, stakeholders and gladiators on the way forward, particularly so because we have come to the conclusion that the solution to Nigeria’s problem lies in other forces outside the PDP and the APC.
“I’m sure, therefore, having Kwankwaso to be among those politicians in attendance at that meeting is not surprising to us. It is a welcome development as far as we are concerned.
“As elections draw closer, as the time table draws closer, I’m sure you would be seeing more and more people, who hitherto were either in PDP or in government coming out to express their support for the coalition of new forces working towards replacing the present crop of political leaders,” he said.
He said the scheduled Wednesday’s summit of NIM in Abuja would provide a direction on which political party to be adopted ahead of the 2019 election, stressing that the coalition comprises representatives from different political parties.
But Lagos State Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), one of the parties invited to the meeting, Comrade Bayo Ogunleye, said he stayed away because the ideology of the conveners runs contrary to that of NCP and its founder and Human rights lawyer, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
He said NCP’s position was not to enter into a coalition with any party because the party was not ready to lose its identity.
When contacted, Kwankwaso’s political associate, Hajiya Binta Rabi’u Spikin, dispelled the news.
Spikin said, “Senator Kwankwaso never met with Obasanjo in Lagos state as speculated…
“Senator Kwankwaso was in Kaduna having series of meetings with various stakeholders of Kwankwasiyya-led faction of the APC. The story that went viral on social media was false, unfounded and uncalled-for.”
Spikin, however, said people were clamouring for the ‘real change’ hence they were eager to know where the national leader of Kwankwasiyya, Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso focuses his political attention, so they could follow him.
Also commenting on the issue, a strong pillar in the Kwankwasiyya movement and former Commissioner under Kwankwaso’s administration, Dr Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, said they only read the story in the newspaper.
He said, “You know we don’t hide our activities. Whatever we are doing, we do inform you press men. So, to be honest with you, I only read the story like you read it.”
Another member of Kwankwasiyya, Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa, said, “Although I am not aware of any meeting between Obj and Kwankwaso, but in my opinion such a meeting if at all they met should not be seen as political.
“This is because the former president is now an elder statesman and has been meeting with various people including President Muhammadu Buhari.”
But a senior official of the APC said they were carefully watching the unfolding events. “It would be premature to talk about the meeting if at all it was held. Every political party has its guiding principles, including those who engage in anti party posturing,” he said.