The joint panel set up by the Labour Party and the New Nigeria People’s Party to work out an alliance between Rabiu Kwankwaso and Mr. Peter Obi has submitted its report for consideration, findings by Saturday PUNCH have revealed.
Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor and presidential candidate of the NNPP, is said to have strong followership in the North with his Kwankwasiyya movement, while Obi, a former Anambra State governor and LP presidential candidate, is having an increasing support base among youths in the southern part of the country and the social media.
While it is no longer possible for political parties to merge, in line with Section 81 (2) of the Electoral Act, both presidential candidates are working on a joint ticket with the hope of defeating the ruling All Progressives Congress, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and others in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
National Chairman, NNPP, Prof Rufai Alkali, told Saturday PUNCH in an interview that the party was engaging with the people and getting support and solidarity from many places.
When asked who would become the candidate and running mate between Kwankwaso and Obi, Alkali said, “Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso is a seasoned politician and he knows the country very well. Certain decisions have to be taken at the appropriate time in a way and manner that would bring more strength and credibility to this journey.”
Asked if a decision had been reached on it, he said, “When we do, you will be among the first to know. No decision yet.”
Meanwhile, the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission indicate that political parties have until July 15 to withdraw or replace their candidates and their running mates for the presidential and National Assembly elections.
By implication, the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Obi of the Labour Party and other candidates who submitted interim names for running mates have about 19 days away to submit the final names.