5th July, 2022
Doyin Okupe, the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential campaign, said the proposal of alliance between Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, was “dead and buried.”
Okupe, who is also the placeholder for the position of running mate to the Labour Party’s presidential candidate disclosed this on Channels Television Politics Today program on Tuesday.
He noted that the merger failed because Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP insisted on being the presidential flagbearer.
Okupe said: “Those discussions about the merger or an alliance was led by me from our side.”
When asked if the discussions between Labour Party and New Nigeria People’s Party were still alive, Okupe said;
“It is dead and buried. The Labour Party and its Presidential candidate had long since withdrawn from that conversation. It was NNPP that continued to benefit from the traction of the popularity of Obi. Out of maturity, we decided that we will not take them on media-wise so we kept quiet, but they kept on going on, going on, going on. The talks of the alliance have been dead for over four weeks. I am the leader of the team that went to discuss with Kwankwaso and it was dead the moment I asked them one question, I said is it fair, do you find it appropriate for a president of northern extraction and a Muslim to finish eight years and a Muslim northerner from the next state in the same zone to take over from him and the three of them unanimously said there is nothing wrong with that. As far as I was concerned the discussion was over and it has remained over since then but we did not come to the media because I respected those people we were discussing with.”
He added that Kwankwaso was wrongly relying on age as though that gives an edge in political leadership.
According to him, Kwankwaso does not match Obi in terms of national appeal.
Okupe, however, revealed that Labour Party is now looking at young running mate of northern extraction.
He maintained that the penetration of Obi in the south is very strong while that of the north is like 20 per cent, hence, the need to get a vibrant youth from the north as a running mate.