Home Top Stories 2023: Kwankwaso confirms NNPP is in talks with Peter Obi’s Labour Party

2023: Kwankwaso confirms NNPP is in talks with Peter Obi’s Labour Party

•Peter Obi (left) and Rabiu Kwankwaso

ABUJA – The much-talked about mega party that will have the capacity to face the two behemoths – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – may be a reality in the 2023 elections going by the revelations of the former governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have been reaching out to other political parties for a possible coalition that can upstage the two other parties that have been in power since the return of democracy in 1999.

On Friday, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, hinted of the coalition when he announced that he had been selected as the running mate to Peter Obi.

Kwankwaso, who is the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), on Saturday, confirmed that his party is discussing with the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on the possibility of forming a coalition for next year’s general election.

“It is true we are in talks with Peter Obi and a committee is working to look into how to form a merger between us.

“Friends and family are being up and doing talking about the merger arrangement,” Mr Kwankwaso told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service.

“The merger is important because as you can see both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not pick their running mates from the Southeast,” Kwankwaso added.

Kwankwaso has a large following in the north, particularly the Northwest while Obi, who recently defected from the PDP and joined the Labour Party, has endeared himself to a large youth population in the south, which people liken to a movement.

However, a merger is legally impossible between both parties before next year’s general election.

What is possible is an alliance that could see supporters of either party vote for candidates of the other in their areas of strength.

They could also agree to present joint candidates for presidential and governorship elections with one party producing the candidate and the other the running mate. The two-person team could then choose to run on the platform of one of the two parties.

Some supporters of both Kwankwaso and Obi have called for such a joint presidential candidacy but it is unclear if either of them would be willing to drop his ambition to become the running mate of the other.

In an interview with Channels Television on Friday night, Okupe stated that he was only standing in as the party’s vice-presidential candidate to Obi.

He said, “Naturally, we comply with the electoral body and in doing so, we believe that choosing the vice-presidential candidate is part of the electoral process. And you will understand that Mr. Peter Obi came into the Labour Party on the 29th of May, which is exactly three weeks ago.

“Therefore, our idea and our reasoning is to bring together in the country, and for the first time, the largest political coalition possible, because we are facing two political giants — APC, PDP. And we are serious about upstaging them and we will.

“But to do that, we cannot do it alone. We need to be able to put together this coalition and the so-called third force is now alive, and it is forming, and it is important for us to ensure that all the stakeholders are carried along from the beginning to the end.” (TheNiche)

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