The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso says it is wrong for any person who is considered a statesman to go about endorsing candidates ahead of the February 25 presidential election in Nigeria.
“I want to advise our leaders: they should stop disgracing themselves. We have so much respect for them. If you say you don’t like me, no problem,” the former Kano State governor said on Wednesday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Kwankwaso was hosted by Governor Godwin Obaseki at the Government House ahead of his presidential campaign flag off in the state.
The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the last three days have been endorsed by elder statesmen like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and leader of the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, sparking reactions from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, the NNPP presidential candidate insisted that these endorsements were based on religious and ethnic sentiments and have no effect on the electorate, who, according to him, are a lot wiser now.
Kwankwaso said, “Some of the people supporting and endorsing Mr A or Mr B, I think it is a big mistake. These are leaders I respect. There is a time in your life when you become real statesman, not a politician.
“I can tell you also that any candidate or party that comes out with the face of ethnicity or the issue of religion, that party, that candidate, I can assure you, has failed that election before it starts.”