The Director-General of the Obi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr Doyin Okupe, has announced that the planned alliance between the Labour Party and the New Nigerian People’s Party for the 2023 general election is “dead.”
“It has been dead for four weeks,” the LP vice presidential placeholder added.
The LP had planned an alliance with the NNPP, with Obi and the latter’s presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, being on the same ticket.
Speaking on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, Okupe, on Tuesday night, disclosed that the negotiation became deadlocked when the LP side queried the emergence of another Muslim northerner succeeding the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), a Muslim from the North.
On the reported consideration of Senator Ditti Baba-Ahmed as vice-presidential candidate of the LP, Okupe said, “He is being considered, others are being considered. He is being considered along with other people whom we have engaged and we have talked with.
“The emphasis here is this, we are looking for a young, vibrant politician of northern extraction with a measure of intellect, sound background, pedigree and education. That is what we are looking at.”
Okupe also took a swipe at Kwankwaso for claiming that northern electorate would not vote for presidential candidate from the South-East.
Mr Okupe said Mr Kwankwaso was electorally restrained to Kano state and may be making misinformed judgements about the entire northern region of the nation.
“It was NNPP that continued to try to benefit from the traction of the popularity of Obi,” said Mr Okupe.
He further dispelled notions that Mr Kwankwaso being a two-term former governor of Kano and a Senator has more political experience than Mr Obi, hence cannot take the LP vice president slot.
The Labour Party chieftain asserted that because Nigerians were in dire need of good leadership, that they’d value competence over political seniority.
“Kwankwaso has nothing in his background that convinces anybody that he can match Peter Obi. So, it’s not a matter of seniority, it’s a matter of capability,” Mr Okupe said.
The statement comes days after Mr Kwankwaso said northerners would not vote Mr Obi because of his ties to the South-East, tainted by IPOB agitations.
The LP vice presidential placeholder also revealed that Mr Obi would announce his running mate, who is a northerner, before the end of the week.
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