Labour Party welcomes Atiku’s merger proposal, NNPP insists on Kwankwaso as flagbearer
The Labour Party has thrown its weight behind the proposal of the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, for opposition parties to merge ahead of the 2027 general elections.
However, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has taken a different stance, describing Atiku’s call as reactive and insisting on a merger centred around supporting Rabiu Kwankwaso for the presidency in 2027.
They emphasized strategic collaboration focused on backing Kwankwaso rather than emotional responses.
The major opposition parties were reacting to the call by Atiku on Tuesday that opposition parties should enter a merger to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from power.
Atiku made the merger proposition while hosting the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria.
The former Vice President warned against the likelihood of Nigeria slipping into a one-party state.
Speaking to The Punch, the acting National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, described Atiku’s call as a good preposition that every Nigerian should consider.
Ifoh said, “Atiku’s call is a proposition, and every Nigeria will consider a good proposition that is meant to remove the Octopus in power because they are not democrats.
“Every Nigerian is interested in having a true democracy. What we have now is far away from democracy. So, if there is a preposition by opposition elements to ensure that democracy is installed, why not? That preposition must be given a good thought. Anything that will make Nigerians witness democracy is accepted.”
But the NNPP described Atiku’s call as emotional and medicine after death.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yakubu Shendam, said any merger being considered must be to support Kwankwaso to become President; otherwise, the NNPP was not interested.
Shendam said, “This is like medicine after death. If there is any future collaboration, it should not be as a result of emotions. We are going all along because we have a gladiator who has the capacity to take over Nigeria.
“We believe that there is a need to canvass for support from people to win the election, from all sides. However, we believe that single-handedly Kwankwaso can deliver Nigeria in 2027.
“But that doesn’t mean that we are not looking for players like Atiku to join our party. If there is going to be a merger, it should be with the NNPP, because Atiku is now retiring, so, he should support Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
“We don’t want to join forces with people who are under emotions but we are comfortable as a party having a person like Rabiu Kwankwaso, as our national leader. We are calling on Atiku as an elder brother to close ranks with Kwankwaso if he wants to be relevant in 2027.”