The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Labour Party (LP) have said they are not in any discussion with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for a step down by the former vice president.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Atiku had said that he was holding talks with the NNPP and LP presidential candidates, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and Peter Obi, respectively for possible support.
But both parties yesterday denied any merger talks with Atiku, describing the claim as false and baseless.
The chief spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, in a statement, said, “We are not in any talks with Atiku or anyone else with a view to stepping down from a race in which we are the frontrunner. Peter Obi is in the contest to win in consonance with the aspiration of the majority of Nigerians who desire a new Nigeria devoid of lies, corruption and selfish scheming.”
LP, PDP, APC, NNPP differ on Nigeria’s N44trn loan
NNPP reports Gombe Chief Magistrate to NJC
Also, National Chairman of NNPP, Prof Rufai Alkali, urged Atiku to step down for Kwankwaso instead.
Addressing a press conference at the NNPP’s secretariat in Abuja yesterday, Prof Alkali said those who were calling on the NNPP’s presidential candidate, Kwankwaso, to step down for Abubakar were faceless people.
He said Atiku was a “serial contestant” and had nothing new to offer Nigerians.
Alkali further said, “We are not in talks with Atiku. He should know that there are other people who have the right to be president, and Kwankwaso has done a lot for Nigerians and Nigeria. Kwankwaso is a frontrunner in the contest.
“We have no talks with Atiku and we are not planning an alliance with Atiku. He should respect his age, and he can’t force anyone to endorse him.”
Alkali claimed that the PDP was in crisis, saying the party’s “umbrella is shredded”.
By Terkula Igidi & Abbas Jimoh