2023: Peter Obi ends merger talks with Kwankwaso, NNPP, to name real running mate on Friday

The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Doyin Okupe, has disclosed that a substantive deputy to Peter Obi will be announced before Friday.

Mr Okupe, who is occupying the slot in a “place holding” capacity, said Mr Obi and the Labour Party will announce a substantive VP following the collapse of the talks with the NNPP.

While appearing on ‘Politics Today’ on Tuesday, Mr Okupe said the talks with Rabiu Kwankwaso-led NNPP collapsed about four weeks ago.

He said the VP to be announced will come from Northern Nigeria and will be charged to create an inroad for the Labour Party in that part of the country.

“This matter (Vice Presidential candidate) will be concluded between tomorrow (Wednesday) and Friday. We are looking for a vibrant, able politician from the northern extraction. The person must have a measure of intellect and sound educational background.”

Last month, Mr Okupe announced that he would be acting in a place-holding capacity due to the ongoing conversation with the NNPP.

Speaking on the alliance with NNPP, he said the talk is dead and buried.

“Those discussions about merger, alliance and all that—was led by me from our side, and it is dead.”

Mr Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, said during an interview on Sunday, that Northern Nigerians will not vote for a South-eastern candidate because of the activities of separatist movements in the South-east. He stated that Mr Obi should accept to be his running mate.

According to him, Igbos from the Southeast are good in business and are well talented but are not good in politics.

Mr Okupe, while dismissing the comments of the former Kano State governor, stated that the Labour Party is sure of victory against the ruling APC and the main opposition PDP. He described Mr Obi’s candidacy as a phenomenon that had not been witnessed in Nigeria.

Mr Okupe said the party is sure of polling 45 per cent of the total votes in the Southwest.

The major reason for the collapse of the talks between the LP and the NNPP was the disagreement over who would step down to be a running mate between Messrs Obi and Kwankwaso, Premium Times reported.

The NNPP is believed to be quite strong in Northern Nigeria, particularly the North-west where many serving public officials have joined it, while the LP is stronger in Southern Nigeria, particularly among young people.

Meanwhile, Waziri Adamu, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, who appeared earlier on the Channels Television programme, said the LP is like a wind that will soon die down.

“Obi is like a wind that is just coming for a brief period and it is going to die down because presidential election is going to be mathematical permutation,” he said.

He stated that Messrs Obi and Kwankwaso will be willing to support the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, against the candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu.

Premium Times

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