The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso may have decided to pick his running mate from the South East as he has beamed his searchlight for a running from the area.
One of our correspondents learned that this followed sustained pressure from top leaders of the North and chieftains of the party on the flagbearer to pick his former colleague and current Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
The National Coordinator Arewa Youth Peace Initiative AYPI, Yakubu Arigu Muhd who confirmed this told reporters shortly after a meeting in Abuja that Kwankwaso is disposed to picking his running mate from the South-East and has penciled Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as his choice.
Muhd further said that Kwankwaso is scheduled to meet with Kalu in a matter of days to woo him to the NNPP.
He said: “We have been talking and meeting with stakeholders from the 19 Northern States. Orji Uzor Kalu is the most suitable leader from the South East geo-political zone with the national appeal and experience to run alongside Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
“Kwankwaso is in the race to win and he is not ready to step down for anybody. I cannot categorically say if Senator Orji Kalu would accept the offer to become Kwankwaso’s running mate, because he is a member of the APC and at the same time their senatorial candidate for Abia North. But he is the best man for the job considering his managerial skills, experience and relationship with other sections of the country,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu alongside other APC stakeholders spearheaded the presidential ambition of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
Lawan, however, lost the party’s presidential ticket to a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Although, Kalu has pledged to support Tinubu, it is not clear if he has accepted the offer to become Kwankwaso’s running mate.
A party source told our correspondent that “Kalu and Kwankwaso are close friends since their days in the House of Representatives.
“It will interest you to know that Kwankwaso and Kalu were in the House of Representatives in the 1990s. They become governors in 1999; when Kwankwaso became Minister of Defence, Orji Kalu was one of the biggest contractors there even when he had issues with President Obasanjo,” the source said.