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Permutations on mega party resurface as Obi visits Atiku, Lamido, Saraki

The visit of the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, to his Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) counterpart, Atiku…

The visit of the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, to his Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, has renewed the permutations for the formation of a mega party to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2027 elections.

Atiku, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) which he personally signed, shared a picture of himself and Obi with the caption, “It was my honour and privilege to host Peter Obi today.”

One of his (Atiku) aides, who asked not to be named, told Daily Trust that the visit was a private one but that the idea of a coalition that Atiku has been clamouring for was “definitely on the table.”

Also speaking with Daily Trust, Yunusa Tanko, the spokesman of the LP presidential campaign council, said, “Of course, it was a private visit, and there is nothing out of place to visit an old friend.”

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He added that while there have been “various discussions and some people mooting various ideas, we can all just pray that the outcome may end up as positive news for all Nigerians.”

Before the visit to Atiku, Obi had also paid a “private visit” to former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, at his Abuja residence. Mansur Ahmed, an aide to Lamido, who confirmed the visit to Daily Trust, said the two leaders discussed behind closed doors.

Also, Tanko stated in a statement later that Obi also visited former Senate president Bukola Saraki.

 “At the centre of discussion during each of these visits was the state of the nation and how to reduce the suffering of all Nigerians, irrespective of class and location. In particular, the desperate condition of the downtrodden in our midst was highlighted.

“Of particular interest and emphasis in these discussions was the worrisome situation in the northern parts of the country,” the statement read in part.

Obi, who was the vice presidential candidate for Atiku in the 2019 presidential election, broke ranks with the former Vice President in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election following a surge in his popularity and calls for him to be the flag-bearer of the PDP.

While President Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerged as the winner after the 2023 elections with 8,794,726 votes, pundits believed that had Atiku and Obi remained on the same ticket, they would have given the ruling party a much tougher outing.

Atiku polled 6,984,520 votes, while Obi polled 6,101,533. Both of them on the same ticket polled 11,262,978 votes in 2019 against Muhammadu Buhari’s 15,191,847 votes.

Obi’s visit to Atiku on Monday came barely a day after Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, in a podcast, insisted that Atiku did not force Obi out of the PDP but accused the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, of being the reason Obi left the PDP.

“Atiku Abubakar didn’t in any way force Obi’s exit from the party. It’s not about relationships (Atiku managing the relationship between himself and Obi); there were factors,” Ibe explained.

Daily Trust reports that since the election, Atiku has been at the forefront of the need for all opposition parties to form a coalition to wrest power from the APC.

 

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