Kwankwaso Unfolds His Solutions to Nigeria’s Problems

Kwankwaso Unfolds His Solutions to Nigeria’s Problems

He was the second political guest to face the Nigerian Guild of Editors, he knew the importance of the meeting and did everything to take advantage of it to the fullest. When the barrage of questions started flowing, he enthused “I have forgotten I’m in Lagos”. Yes, the questions were tough and germane to the

He was the second political guest to face the Nigerian Guild of Editors, he knew the importance of the meeting and did everything to take advantage of it to the fullest. When the barrage of questions started flowing, he enthused “I have forgotten I’m in Lagos”. Yes, the questions were tough and germane to the major issues of the day and touched on all important aspects of the Nigerian life and his role in politics.

“My blueprint talks about the solutions to the problems, not just diagnosing the problems. Together with my friends, we have been able to do so much across the country, built a lot of goodwill. We have been able to register so many people in the party. And within shortest possible time have been able to get credible candidates across the country. We have a large pool of candidates comparable to the two biggest parties. Those two other parties have nothing again to tell Nigerians and unfortunately, there is nothing they can do again to change that. We started in PDP whose only ideology at inception was to kick the military out in 1999 when it was formed. Then we moved to APC which we thought genuinely had a programme to change this country but has been having its issues.

Then we decided to register our own party but the time was too short and so we selected the NNPP whose manifestoes capture all our beliefs and ideas. Since March when we adopted the NNPP, we are happy we left those parties. The details of our programme are contained in our manifesto titled: “The Blueprint to Create a New and Better Nigeria for all Nigerians”. A lot of Nigerians are tired of the status quo in Nigeria. The problem is that of bad leadership. It manifests in different areas – security, infrastructure, education, and economy. That is why our blueprint talks about the solutions and not just the problem. We have visited most states of the country, not just for rallies but interacting with people in the grassroots to talk with the people. Anybody who believes in earning a decent living is a member of Kwakwasiya”

With those preliminary remarks, the stage was set for his interrogation by the Editors. In all he was asked about 10 questions. And he did justice to them all spending more time to explain how he had put his ideology into action as Governor of Kano State, where he had served for two terms at different times since 1999.

On 13 percent Derivation and Restructuring
He said it is untrue that he ever opposed the 13 percent fund for the oil producing states. “This 13% came to this constitution because of our recommendation in the constitutional conference of 1994-1995. The records are there I supported it.

“Our position on restructuring is that there are so many things that should be done first. The issue of security is central to everything. Insecurity affects almost everything including the economy, agriculture. And social lives We have to increase our security forces from the 250,000 or so that we have now to about one million. We also have to increase the number of policemen to about the same figure. This will cost money but what we lose due to insecurity is much more than what it will cost us to secure our country and our national assets. Getting security right will reduce agitation for restructuring. I am for restructuring.

“On state police, so many suggestions are being made. We are open to restructuring and we look forward to different suggestions from Nigerians to decide the best way forward. The problem is not with the constitution but doing the wrong things is responsible for the ills of the country today.

On Privatisation and Unbundling of NNPC
“I am happy with the unbundling of the NNPC. Happy that it is a step forward. We are committed to involving the private sector in the oil and gas sector”.

On Constitution Amendment
“We are open to discussion. If we required an amendment, we would follow the procedure and due process for constitution amendment. But to my understanding, our problem is not with the constitution but with the operators”

Kwankwanso as a Different Brand
“I have all the experiences having been in the two parties – PDP and APC. We complained that the PDP is bad, but the bad PDP is better than the APC. There are so many people who act as the owners of the parties. So many people who believe they should decide things for the parties. That’s why we left the PDP and APC for good, and we are happy where we are”.

On Education
Nigeria is losing a lot of resources on daily basis through quality people that are trooping out of the country. My record in education as Governor of Kano state speaks for me. We built universities and also established 26 academic and manpower development training institutes.

“Through these institutes, over 360,000 youth and women were trained and empowered.
“We also gave free lunch to primary school pupils, we started the initiative in Nigeria, we gave scholarships to 370 outstanding students, and 148 full-time scholarships to Nigerian students across 0the country,”

He believes more than 65% of school age children may be out of school but cannot blame the problem on religion because there’s a large Muslim population in the southwest, how come the experience is not the same. He agrees that the elites could be blamed for this because they did not do what they should do. Many persons who had opportunity are not giving back as expected.

He reeled out large numbers of people that have directed benefitted from him for their educational advancement and those who had received help through his policies that are non-discriminatory.

He said the issue of children out of school would be looked into by his administration. On how to fund education in the country in view of the ASUU challenge. Dr Kwankwaso said the country would save a lot of money by blocking the leakages in the oil sector. He said getting money and managing it well are two major problems, he would confront headlong.

On the Breakdown of Talks with Peter Obi
We thought it would be a good idea to work together but there are many people who do not understand politics. Everybody accepted there was a need to come together. The knotty issue was who will be President and who will be vice-president. All the criteria were listed, and it was obvious from all indices who should be on top of the ticket. But then, they said there was a sentiment that power should shift to the Southeast. That was a dealock.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun

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