Following the inability of the Labour Party, LP, and the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, to merge as third force in the forthcoming elections, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has advised the LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi to consider another alternative.
It was recalls that the LP had engaged in talks with the NNPP Presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso on how to form an alliance ahead of the 2023 elections to defeat the two major political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
However, there are indications that the effort may yield no positive results as both LP and NNPP candidates disagree on who should deputize each other.
While the Peter Obi’s camp expected the former Kano State governor to be Labour Party’s vice-presidential candidate, the ‘Kwankwasians’ want Obi to take the second position.
The NNPP camp argued that Kwankwaso has more experience and capacity to defeat the PDP and APC presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu, stressing that Kwankwaso would pull 60% of votes in the North and should be fairly considered.
But the ‘Obi-dients’ who are mostly Nigerian youths, have warned Obi against accepting to be Kwakwaso’s deputy, stressing that he would be elected as Nigerian president in 2023 even without NNPP.
Speaking on the controversy surrounding the merger plan, the President General of COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem advised Mr. Peter Obi to choose a youth from the North as his running mate and jettison plans to have Kwankwaso as his deputy.
According to him, Peter Obi does not “necessarily need Kwankwaso to win his elections. Power belongs to God and the people. It is the people that decide who will lead them as President come 2023.
“In 2019, Kwankwaso lost his re-election bid to return to the Senate. He lost his bid to make his anointed candidate governor.
“Governor Ganduje defeated him at the polls. So what is so special about Kwankwaso? He has been losing elections and insisting on bringing him on board will mean getting ready to fail.
“The major supporters of Peter Obi are Nigerian youths from different parts of the country and it will be proper to choose from among them a competent youth who can be his running mate.
“70 percent of Nigeria’s population are youths and anyone backed by Nigerian youths has more chances of winning the elections.
“When Obi contested for governor of Anambra State in 2003, he was a youth and he was not a former political office holder. But people saw his sincerity of purpose and voted for him in the elections.
“Obi does not necessarily need a former political office holder to be his running mate to win his elections. He needs a youth to have an edge over others.
“Presently the country is in total mess economically, educationally, and security wise. The country needs technocrats now to salvage the nation. Obi should look for a technocrat who is a youth from the North to be his running mate”.