The vice presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Bishop Isaac Idahosa, on Monday, narrated how the party’s standard bearer, Rabiu Kwankwaso chose him as his running mate.
Idahosa, who spoke during a live appearance on ChannelsTV, said he had no ambition to vie for political office at the time he was unveiled as the NNPP vice presidential candidate in July.
“If you want me to give a little background about how I came in, during the Sallah break, he (Kwankwaso) called me, ‘Bishop, where are you?’ I said I’m in Lagos. ‘Could you come to Kano so we can have Sallah celebration together?’
“I got into Kano and I was greeted by a large crowd of people. He does this every Sallah, feeding people. He asked me to greet the people and you know I speak Hausa very well. He said, ‘Bishop, how are you going to greet them, in Hausa or English?’ I said, ‘Hausa.’
“Then we went on and everyone was agog. He never had to tell me what was on his mind. At about 12 midnight that Sunday evening, he called me. That was about a week to the closure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) portal,” Idahosa said.
The bishop stated that Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State, opened up to him about the need for a running mate from the South-South and solicited his assistance, leading the cleric to enlist the help of some “fathers of faith.”
According to Idahosa, the religious leaders asked him to “name whomever” and he proceeded to make suggestions. He however noted that the search on that Monday ended to no avail.
“The only one we got said he had limited time to be able to go and seek for counsel about that. That was Tuesday already. So, he (Kwankwaso) said on Wednesday, I should come to his house at Maitama (Abuja) so I can join in the screening; that’s how he left it. Little did I know that it was I that was going to be screened.
“So, I got there and there was Elder Buba Galadima, the national chairman and what have you. They said I should sit down. I sat. (They asked me) ‘If you are to be chosen as the running mate to His Excellency, Kwankwaso, what’s your vision for Nigeria?’
“I said, ‘Is that why you brought me? Nobody told me I was coming here for screening. I thought I was going to join in the screening committee as a friend.’ I said, ‘Well, if I am to be his running mate, I don’t have any vision.
“‘I am a supporting striker because if I have a vision and I’m bringing my vision to his, then the vision comes to bear. It is his vision, his mind, his thoughts. We’ll have to sit down and rub minds together to run with what he has and then we’ll see how we go on.’
“Long story short, I was asked to produce my resume. I said, ‘For crying out loud, I’m not looking for a job. I just came to say hello and do Sallah stuff with my friend,’” he stated.
Idahosa said with the help of his wife and elder sister, he got his certificate and rushed back to Lagos to collect it.
“At about 9pm on Wednesday, my name was flying all around on social media: ‘Isaac Idahosa’. Then I called on my principal, ‘Sir, what is happening? My name is all over.’ He said, ‘Just forget about that, just go to bed.’ I said, ‘Okay, sir.’
“Thursday was worse! Everybody, everywhere; my phone was beeping and ringing. Then at about 2pm, he called and said, ‘Excellency.’ That was the first time he would mention that, qualifying me that way.
“He would always say, ‘Bishop.’ Now, ‘Excellency, congratulations.’ My hands were shaking, my legs were wobbling. I said, ‘Congratulations, what?’ He said, ‘You’re my running mate,’” he said.