Mr Kwankwaso stressed that restructuring was only possible if there were good leaders committed to uniting Nigerians and upgrading security, economy, education, among others.
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, says he would listen to debates on restructuring after he is elected president in 2023.
“If elected President, I will listen to Nigerians on the subject. I will be open to discussions and negotiations and also consider adjustments capable of moving the country forward,” Mr Kwankwaso said. “We are not going to be rigid on restructuring, especially in the areas of insecurity, economy and education. These three are crucial for development to take place.”
The former Kano governor made the remark on Sunday when he appeared on the Editors Forum, an initiative of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), in Lagos.
He stressed that restructuring was only possible if there were good leaders committed to uniting Nigerians and upgrading security, economy, education, among others.
There has been clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria’s political and economic system with proponents arguing that the Constitution bequeathed by the military was lopsided.
Mr Kwankwaso expressed worry and concern over insecurity, and regretted that the North had been the worst hit.
“After studying the level of insecurity in the country, I believe that there is the need to recruit more military personnel.
“Considering the ratio of civilians to military personnel, there is a need to increase the number of personnel in the armed forces. We need a minimum of one million,” he said.
Reeling out some of his achievements as a two-term governor, Mr Kwankwaso said he paid special attention to human capital development and educational advancement.
“We built universities and also established 26 academic and manpower development training institutes.
“Through these institutes, over 360,000 youth and women were trained and empowered.
“We also gave free lunch to students, gave scholarships to 370 outstanding students, and 148 full time scholarships to Nigerian students all over the country,” he said.
Mr Kwankwaso assured Nigerians that such strides would continue if he became head of state in 2023.
He dismissed suggestions that he was being pressed to step down for the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
“That rumour is coming from detractors; it is just wishful thinking.
“NNPP is all out to win the 2023 election and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I know l will get the required numbers,” Mr Kwankwaso boasted.
Earlier in an opening remark, NGE President Mustapha Isah had said that the forum was interested in knowing the candidate’s plans for the country so that the people could make informed choices.
Mr Isah said that the forum would host all presidential candidates while urging all of them to address key issues that concern the people and avoid attacks on individuals.
He also cautioned against false claims aimed at misleading the electorate.
“The Nigerian Guild of Editors pleads with politicians to avoid attacks on individuals
“They should, rather, focus on the real issues that concern the ordinary people.
“I also urge the presidential candidates to call their spokespersons to order as some of their press statements and interviews are heating up the polity.
“On our part, we pledge to be neutral. Nigeria must get it right next year and we want issues-based campaigns,” he said.