The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Monday, unveiled Isaac Idahosa, a bishop, as his running mate for the 2023 poll.
Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja, Mr Kwankwaso said Mr Idahosa was chosen based on his credentials.
“Our party, the NNPP, in choosing our candidates for the 2023 general elections-from the State House of Assembly candidates to governorship to National Assembly up to the president was guided, among other things.
“Guided by competence, courage, acceptability, credibility and the all-important desire to heal the country of the severe wounds that are threatening its very existence,” he said.
The presidential candidate said Mr Idahosa was considered as his running mate after scrutinising over 20 prospective candidates and considering critical factors.
“After painstakingly vetting and scrutinising over 20 prospective candidates all of whom were eminently qualified to be the vice-president of Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Kwankwaso added: “Considering the severity of the wounds that are inflicted on the country in recent years and the necessity of healing them.
“Given the necessary desire to carefully balance all sensibilities, sensitivities, and differences to have an all-inclusive government that will be fair and just to all Nigerians.
“Also bearing in mind that the country requires competent, credible, empathetic, courageous, and God-fearing leaders, I came to the conclusion and therefore present to you a rare Nigerian that very fits these requirements.
“Fellow compatriots, I present to you this 57-year-old man-of God who hails from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo; a trained automobile engineer, a highly educated Nigerian with Bachelor and Masters degrees in theology.”
He also described Mr Idahosa as a self-made achiever whose lifetime work was improving the lots of Nigerians.
“A Doctor of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education; a man of unimpeachable integrity and credibility; a unique Nigerian with outstanding record; a patriot with a clear understanding of the country’s contemporary challenges,” he said.
Mr Kwankwaso said Mr Idahosa also believed that a new and better Nigeria was possible if Nigerians could work together with sincerity to heal the wounds inflicted on the country and its citizens.
“I present to you this Nigerian man-of-God; this Archbishop-designate and Senior Pastor of the God First Ministry; the man together with whom we shall pursue the agenda of saving Nigeria from the current drift and healing it of the wounds inflicted on her.
“I present to you the man with whom we shall, with the help of God, and with the support of all of you, build a New Nigeria where justice, equity, fairness, unity, security and development are assured.
“Fellow Compatriots, I present to you the next Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bishop Isaac Idahosa,” he said.
Mr Kwankwaso said that healing wounds inflicted on Nigeria was the first step toward putting the country on the path of security, sustainable development and global respect.
He said Nigeria was bleeding from severe and several wounds inflicted as a result of incompetence and insincerity of leadership.
This according to him is also causing insecurity, inflation, rise in unemployment amongst the youth, affecting the tertiary education system, and social services.
“We in the NNPP believe that healing these wounds is the first step towards putting Nigeria on the path of security, prosperity, enduring unity, sustainable development, and global respect,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Idahosa said that Nigeria deserved a fresh start and a fresh deal that would take it out of its challenges.
“At this critical juncture of our nation’s history, our country deserves a fresh start and Nigerians deserve a fresh new deal, a fresh deal that will steer away the country from division and hate; a fresh deal that will steer away the country from incompetence and cluelessness.
“A fresh deal that will steer away the country from insecurity and economic woes; a fresh new deal that will create jobs and widen opportunities.
“A fresh new deal that will allow every family to live a decent and affordable life; and a fresh new deal that will empower Nigerian youth and women to be in the front line in leadership and governance.
“ And it is we, in the NNPP that are fully prepared and capable to offer this fresh new deal,” Mr Idahosa said.
He called on all Nigerians to come together and take back their destiny into their hands, be united and save the country from collapse.
Mr Idahosa said Nigerians must endeavour to face the challenges of the moment and rise together, heal together and work together to rebuild the country of their dream.
“A Nigeria where hard work strives, where education is important, where the economy will grow, where productivity is inspiring. We shall build a Nation that invests in its youth.
“We must pay good attention to new technologies; we will create the enabling environment for real industrialisation in Nigeria,” he said.
The National Chairman of the party, Rufai Alkali, expressed confidence that Mr Idahosa would work with Mr Kwankwaso to turn around things for the better.
Mr Alkali commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its renewed commitment to ensure that the 2023 general election was credible.
He, however, condemned vote-buying in Nigeria’s election, urging voters not to mortgage the future of the country.
The highlight of the event was a book presentation titled “Kwankwaso-a political allegory”.