2023: Uncertainty for Peter Obi and Kwankwaso as INEC rules may hamper Labour Party and NNPP merger
The much-talked-about merger between Labour Party (LP), Presidential candidate, Peter Obi and Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) might not see the light of the day due to the rules set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
On Saturday morning, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, confirmed that his party was in talks with the Labour Party concerning a possible merger.
Kwankwaso had said; “We are in talks with Peter Obi and a committee is working to look into how to form a merger between us”.
“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.”
However, a merger might be legally impossible between both parties before the 2023 general elections.
“First a new party via a merger cannot be formed in time for the election.
“INEC regulation prohibits the registration of a political party less than a year before an election.
“But they can collapse their structure to support one another for specific positions eg, the presidency,” Nicholas Ibekwe, a journalist with Premium Times discloses.
Deji Adeyanju, a popular socio-political commentator based in Abuja, however, is clear as to what agreement should be reached between Obi and Kwankwaso.
“The merger with the Labour Party and NNPP should have Obi as president and Kwankwaso as VP.
“That’s the only thing that makes sense,” Adeyanju tweeted on Saturday.
Kwankwaso’s NNPP has a large following in the North, while Obi who recently defected from the PDP and joined the Labour Party, has endeared himself to large number if Nigerian youths.
On Friday, Obi named former presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, as his running mate as a means of beating INEC’S set date for all party to submit it aspirant.