The chances of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party to win Saturday’s Presidential Election got hazy on Tuesday after the New Nigeria Peoples Party insisted that its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, is not stepping down for him or any other candidate.
With Obi and Tinubu expected to sweep the South, Mr. Atiku needs to be strong or almost invincible in the North to stand any chance of realising his life ambition of becoming president. And there had been expectations in certain quarters that Mr. Kwankwaso was going to step than for the former vice president at some point.
But NNPP’s National Campaign Secretary, Folasade Aliu, who spoke during a live appearance on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict, on Tuesday, categorically ruled that out, saying Kwankwaso is prepared and focused on winning the seat of the presidency.
She said, “We are preparing for this and we are telling Nigerians one-on-one the love we have for this country.
“So, the issue of Kwankwaso is stepping down or merging with Tinubu or stepping down for Atiku is absolute nonsense. It’s not going to happen. It’s just the strategy of some mischievous people. As I speak with you, he is on the road, he is talking to people.
“We have gone to 600 plus local governments. Does that seem like somebody that is stepping down?” Aliu queried.
“We are not stepping down for anybody. NNPP is not merging with anybody. If you have something to offer Nigerians, let them know. If you don’t have, go home and sleep.”
For Atiku to emerge President, he needs to at least carry Kano or Lagos, but latest polls see him lagging miserably behind in those states. Needless to add that it is unlikely that the PDP flagbearer will win the crucial states of Rivers and Kaduna.