The Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, on Wednesday cleared the air over his 2015 presidential ambition when he told journalists in Borno State that he would declare his interest ‘at the right time.’
Rumours have circulated that the Kano Governor, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, plans to contest the presidential election in 2015. He is not eligible to re-contest as Kano Governor in 2015 as this is his second term in office, having been governor between 1999 and 2003.
Mr. Kwankwaso made his first public statement on his rumoured ambition, Tuesday, at the Government House, Maiduguri, shortly after presenting a N20 million cheque as part of his government’s support to the Borno State Government over the recent Baga killings.
Governor Shettima, who acknowledged the Kano State Governor’s gesture as the first ever made by a state government in Nigeria, responded with superlative shower of encomiums on Mr. Kwankwaso whom he described as the most versatile politician with robust experience in all spheres of governance in Nigeria.
Journalists who perceived the Borno Governor’s praises as an endorsement, quizzed Mr. Kwankwaso if he truly nurses the ambition of running for the Nigerian presidency.
“For now we are walking around the clock to ensure peace and stability in our state, and security in the entire region. But I want to assure Nigerians that as a team player, when the time comes, I will make my intentions known,” Mr. Kwankwaso responded.
“I am not the kind of persons who goes about blowing his trumpet anyhow. My brother the Borno State Governor has showered so much praises about my humble self to the extent that I wanted to stop him. But probably that is what a true friend and brother should do to a friend telling the world that this is the quality that makes one thick.”
Earlier, Governor Shettima had, after receiving Mr. Kwankwaso’s words of sympathy and a N20 million cheque, said he was emotionally moved by his colleague’s assistance. He said since the commencement of the Boko Haram conflict, the Borno State Government had been abandoned by the federal government and other states.
“Since the beginning of this problem, we have never received a dime from anywhere. They have all left us to our fate; but whether we swim or sink, let me assure you that Borno will bounce back,” Mr. Shettima said.
He hailed Mr. Kwankwaso as the oldest Governor in Nigeria giving his first election as governor in 1999. He said the Kano Governor remained the most versatile Nigerian politician having served as a federal lawmaker, a presidential adviser on crisis-ridden Darfur region, a defence minister, and a governor with uncommon spirit of sportsmanship who conceded defeat to an opposition candidate (in 2003) without going to court.
Should Mr. Kwankwaso eventually declare his ambition, he would have to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the PDP ticket. Other likely opponents within the PDP include former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; and Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu.