Former Governor of Kano State and Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, on Wednesday, formally declared his presidential ambition in Abuja.
The Utako area of Abuja was literally grounded by thousands of his supporters who witnessed the declaration.
Abuja was a no-go area for residents as members of Kwankwassiya Movement, with their traditional red caps, took over the city. The massive turnout crippled a lot of economic activities around the Utako District of Abuja.
To realise his ambition, the former Defence Minister defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He had earlier announced his intention to declare his ambition at the Eagle Square, Abuja but was denied the venue after he had paid.
He immediately moved the event to Chida Hotel where he told the massive crowd that, if he wins the PDP ticket, he would defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. It is believed that Buhari would clinch the APC ticket.
The facility managers of the Eagles Square, had in a letter on Monday said their reason for denying him the venue was to avoid disruption of “work flow” at the federal secretariat, a major hub of civil servants.
At the declaration were former governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion; national chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Buba Galadima; former Kano State deputy governor who recently resigned, Hafiz Abubakar, and members of the National Assembly loyal to Kwankwaso.
Kwankwaso said: “Today, I declare that I am going to vie for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“I stand on my honour to offer a paradigm shift in leadership. There is no gainsaying that all is not well with the polity. It is also clear that the same mindset that created and escalated the problems cannot be used in resolving the ongoing crises in our nationhood and national development.
“As I formally declare my intention to vie for the office of the President on the platform of the PDP, I promise you a value-based leadership. We shall provide national security and as a former Minister of Defence, I know what I am talking about here”.