The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) said discussions are ongoing between it and the Labour Party on merger that could produce Peter Obi/Kwankwaso presidential ticket.
Obi, former governor of Anambra state, south-east Nigeria is the presidential standard-bearer of Labour party while Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state, north-western zone is the candidate of NNPP for the 2023 presidency.
NNPP disclosed this plan on Saturday in a tweet posted to its Twitter page, @OfficialNNPPng.
The said a special committee had been set up for the discussions and expressed hope that the results from the ongoing talks with Obi and the LP would “give Nigeria a chance to be alive, once again.”
“We wish to inform Nigerians that, our discussions with @PeterObi and the #LabourParty are still ongoing. Special committee was set to discuss arrangements.
“We hope for good results that will give Nigeria a chance to be alive, once again.
#NNPP #NigeriaDecides2023 #Kwankwaso, the tweet read”
Similarly, Kwankwaso confirmed that his party is in talks with Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Obi for possibility of forming a coalition.
Kwankwaso made this know in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Saturday said Labour Party and NNPP will have an advantage in the next election if an agreement can be reached.
He said: “We are really talking to Peter Obi, or at least saying that the committee is working to look into the matter (and cooperate with him), and friends and family are coming to talk to us about it.”
“The merger is important because as you can see both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not pick their running mates from the South-east.”
Doyin Okupe on Friday said his name has been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission by the party as stand-in vice-presidential candidate of the party and Obi’s running mate.
However, it is not clear who Kwankwaso also submitted as ‘shadow’ running mate at the close of submission of the names of presidential and vice presidential candidates.
Other presidential candidates such as Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had sent the name of Kabir Masari from Katsina state as ‘placeholder’ running mate.
The plan is to have such a dummy candidates withdraw at a later date for substitution with the final person chosen for the vice presidential slot in line with section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides that: “A candidate may withdraw his or her candidature by notice in writing signed by him and delivered personally by the candidate to the political party that nominated him for the election and the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the Commission not later than 90 days to the election.”