2023 Presidency: Labour Party, NNPP Merger Talks Died Over 4 Weeks Ago, Eventual Running Mate To Peter Obi Will Be Announced This Week

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The vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Doyin Okupe has said that discussions about an alliance between the party and the New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP) are dead.

There had been pressure on the NNPP and the Labour Party to work together to produce a presidential candidate between them for the 2023 presidential election. The NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso and his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi earlier admitted that the parties were holding talks to have an alliance between the parties, but the bone of contention was that the two candidates wanted to be the presidential candidate in the arrangement.

However, in an interview on Channels TV on Tuesday, monitored by SaharaReporters, Okupe said Kwankwaso had been benefiting from the popularity of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi on social media.

According to him, the discussion of the parties to have an alliance has been dead for more than four weeks.

“That discussion or those discussions about a merger, alliance and all that was led by me from our side is dead and buried, finished, not Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party and its presidential candidate have long since withdrawn from that conversation. It was NNPP that tried to benefit from the attraction of the popularity of Obi.

I’m now an elder statesman and out of maturity, I decided that we will not take them on media-wise so we kept quiet but they kept going on; the talk about the alliance had been dead for over four weeks, I’m telling you, I am the leader of the team,” Okupe said.

He said the merger talks died the moment Kwankwaso’s representatives said there was nothing wrong with a northerner being President again after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, who’s also a northern Muslim like Kwankwaso.

By 2023, Buhari would have spent eight years in power as a democratic leader since his election in 2015.

He said, “I went to discuss with Kwankwaso, it was dead we were deadlock, the moment I asked them one single question, I said is it fair, would you consider it appropriate and okay for a northern president and a president of northern extraction and a Muslim to finish eight years and another Muslim northerner from the next state in the same zone takes over from him, and the three of them unanimously said there’s nothing wrong with it.

“As far as I’m concerned, this discussion is over and it has remained over since then but we did not come to media because I respected those who we were discussing with. I never said anything, have never mentioned anything but this is the first time I’m publicly commenting on the matter and it’s because they have thrown it into the winds.”

Okupe described Kwankwaso as electorally restricted to Kano and belonging to an older generation of politicians, who are narrow-minded.

He said, “I also heard Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso saying people in the north will not vote for an Igbo man. Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso from that statement manifestly shows that the country which is being led by the youthful population has left him behind, he belongs to my generation of politicians and we have a very narrow vision.

“For a leader like Kwankwaso to come to national television and play a very dangerous negative ethnic card, talking about some people, northerners will not vote for an Igbo person and Kwankwaso is always in the habit of whenever he’s talking, it is always about the north. This is a man that is electorally restricted to Kano and that’s the problem; he’s judging everybody else in the north with the prism of what he sees in Kwankwasian movement in Kano, that’s all.”

According to Okupe, Kwankwaso is trying to give the impression that northerners do not understand politics nor have a mind of their own, which the Labour Party chieftain described as untrue.

He further stated that anybody that underestimates Peter Obi will have themselves to blame as the Obidient Movement has moved beyond just posting his posters or painting his pictures in front of houses.

Expressing confidence in the chances of Labour Party and Peter Obi in the next presidential election, Okupe said Obi is going to take most of the votes from the southeastern part of the country, 45 percent votes from the southwest and get 25 percent votes at least 24 states in the country.

He said, “I can tell you for free and I mean it and I’m not being frivolous that if a million votes come from the southeast, Peter Obi will take 850,000; I’m telling you for a fact. Moving to the southwest, I just told you I’m coming from home (Iperu). In the southwest the avalanche of movement, persons and groups that are saying Dr. Doyin, we are with you and we are behind you, there’s no way Peter Obi will score less than 40-45% of total votes cast in the southwest.

“Peter Obi will win in nearly 50 percent of the states in the country and get 25% in more than 24 states in the country.”

“I’m the first to admit that his penetration is convincing in the south but not yet so in the north, I will put penetration of the Obidient movement in the north to about 15-20% but from next week, when we announce the real Vice President, who’s a northerner, he’s going to be an arrowhead of rooting the north,” he added.

Okupe, whose name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is a placeholder as the party still intends to announce a northerner as the eventual running mate to Peter Obi.

According to Okupe, the eventual running mate to Obi will be announced this week.

He said Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed was among the candidates being considered for the position.

[Culled From SaharaReporters]

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