A chieftain of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Buba Galadima, has dismissed the rumour that the presidential candidate of the party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, are planning a merger ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Galadima, who spoke during a chat with Arise TV on Monday, said what the two presidential candidates are discussing is an “electoral alliance.”
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He said, “We are not discussing a merger with the Labour Party. What we are discussing is electoral alliance between the candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, and the candidate of the Labour Party.
“I chaired the negotiation for 13 good hours and we have an understanding of almost all the issues raised except one – which is who should be the presidential candidate, and who should deputize for him.”
Galadima also stated that those who are saying it is “insulting” to ask Peter Obi to deputize Kwankwaso “are not politicians,” because if they were politicians, “they wouldn’t even have dreamt of that.”
He added that while the Peter Obi movement started only two months ago, Kwankwaso’s “Kwankwasiyya Movement” has been in existence for 32 years.
“They (Labour Party) are just starting a movement two months ago. The Kwankwasiyya Movement has been on ground for 32 years. And the main objective of the movement, apart from development, is to make sure that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso becomes the president of Nigeria, because he has a lot to offer, and no Nigerian living today has ever performed while in public office like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has done,” he said.
The former chieftain of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) further stated that Kwankwaso is a stronger candidate than Obi in northern Nigeria, and giving the presidential ticket to the latter would benefit Atiku in the North.
“If Kwankwaso deputizes Peter Obi, it is not the ticket of Peter Obi that will gain currency, it is Atiku that will benefit, because as far as we are concerned, if Kwankwaso steps down to be vice president, the people from this part of the country are likely to vote one of their own who is running as president.
“If Peter Obi is vice president to Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, he doesn’t lose his followership because that could’ve been the best position that people of South East extraction could’ve gotten in this 2023 election. They are out in the PDP, they are out in the APC, but having a vice president with a promise and viability of becoming president after Kwankwaso would now make them self-satisfied,” he said.