- Labour Party and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) will field their presidential candidates in the 2023 general election
- This is as the NNPP flagbearer, Rabiu Kwankwaso, ruled out the possibility of having a merger with the LP ahead of the polls
- The former governor of Kano state said the time for the merger had gone just as he gave a hint on why the NNPP/LP proposed deal did not work out
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Lagos, Nigeria - Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has ruled out a merger with the Labour Party (LP).
The former governor of Kano state said those who are still talking about the possibility of the NNPP merging with Peter Obi's LP are unrealistic, The Guardian reported.
Kwankwaso, however, admitted that if both parties had agreed to fuse into one, the 2023 presidential election would have been easy for them to win.
Legit.ng gathers that the NNPP presidential flagbearer stated this at an Editors’ Forum in Lagos on Sunday, November 20.
He said he was surprised some people were still discussing the possibility of the merger when the window for that opportunity had closed.
Why the merger deal failed, Kwankwaso gives hint
Kwankwaso hinted that the negotiation for the merger failed because those who led the LP insisted Peter Obi must be made the presidential candidate because the southeast had never produced the president.
“We have passed the level of any relationship. But it was a good idea. And if it had been possible, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would not be talking of the possibility of second balloting today.
“The contentious issue was who will be the presidential candidate and the running mate. The committees from both parties sat to look at the criteria and they said, ‘let’s start from the age, educational qualification, offices held’, but the committee from LP did not want that.
“They said there is sentiment from the southeast that they never produced the president, therefore, Obi must be in the lead. Our side tried to explain to them that it does not work that way. There is sentiment everywhere, and nobody, by the Constitution we have today, can become president by winning election in his zone alone," Kwankwaso said.
NNPP/Labour Party merger deal breakdown: Nigerians react
Olukayode Aro commented on Facebook:
"The leadership of the two political parties are well grounded in the problems and challenges of the country, with workable solutions to meeting up with the challenges, but none of them is desperate for power.
Another case of 'e mi lokan'? Ohanaeze Ndigbo drops new update on Peter Obi's presidential candidacy
"The underlined reason for the two parties not being able to work together is the north and south dichotomy.
"For justice, fairness and equality, the presidential candidate of NNPP should have been able to give consideration to conceding the leadership to the presidential candidate of Labour party from the south to allow for a balanced rotational presidency."
Tony Ajisegiri said:
"The hottest deal would have been for Kwankwanso to be Peter Obi's vice president but he lost that golden opportunity. Now he would neither be the president nor the Vice..."
Moses Abudu said:
"Even if they merge they will still fail because both Kwankwanso and obi are ethnic champions, into whose hands we are not prepared to entrust our collective Destiny."
AB Abu said:
"Kwankwaso is not sure of himself. Today, if he's not showering praises on Tinubu, he'd be talking about Labour Party.
"Kwankwaso should make a definitive stand."
Kwankwaso vows not to step down for Atiku
In a related development, Kwankwaso vowed not to step down for Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming presidential election.
The former Kano governor who left the PDP to pick the NNPP presidential ticket said some people were concocting the story that he was going to withdraw for his former party's candidate.
Kwankwaso, however, reiterated that he would not step down for anyone.