State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has rejected a consensus arrangement by political parties in picking candidates for elections.
Kwankwaso, who noted that his party, the All Progressives Congress, was toying with the idea, said that the fact that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party had adopted it (consensus arrangement) did not make it a winning formula.
He spoke on Tuesday at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Leadership newspapers in Abuja where a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, cautioned politicians against engaging in character assassination.
The governor, who was given an award alongside his colleagues who defected to the APC from the PDP last year, also said he would soon declare his ambition to contest the presidential election in 2015.
Kwankwaso said, “Consensus is part of the belief of the party (APC), but the fact of the matter is that we have seen in PDP, from 1999 to 2011, every election year there was primary election and primary election in my opinion strengthens a party.
“Therefore, probably that is why PDP has been winning elections. On the other hand, other parties, because of their weaknesses were not doing primaries. I believe that at the end of the day our party will come out with a candidate that would be generally accepted by the party and by extension the entire Nigeria.”
The governor explained that the awards given to seven of his colleagues by the Leadership newspapers were based on their struggle to ensure that democracy was promoted within the party and the country.
“It was a struggle to ensure that leaders at all levels that are engaged in impunity are brought to their levels; that is why we work so hard under the leadership of some of us. Five of us, you will recall, decided to leave the PDP.”
Gowon, on his part, advised politicians to focus on policies and avoid issues that would make foreigners think that Nigeria was incapable of producing credible leaders.
He said, “Politicians need to embrace prayers instead of trying to condemn themselves in such a manner that outside world would think that we are not good.
“Let all of us love Nigeria. Unless you love and accept your country as a nation, then whatever you do is not worth it and that is what I will continue to ask all Nigerians and all political parties.”
Gowon said people who had doubts about Nigeria being a nation were free to relocate to any place of their choice.