by Sunday Isuwa (Leadership)
New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) had said that its presidential flag bearer, Musa Kwankwaso, will not be the running mate to the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Labour Party presented the name of a former presidential spokesman, Chief Doyin Okupe as the “stand-in running mate to Obi,” while Kwankwaso presented Ladipo Johnson as his running mate.
Talks have been going on between Peter Obi and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over possible merger but decisions have not been reached over who should be presidential candidate and the running mate.
While the Labour Party had last week, through it national chairman, Julius Abure, said that Obi has no intention of leaving the party, the national publicity secretary of the NNPP, Major Agbor, also said Kwankwaso had not declared intention to be running mate to Obi as being erroneously reported.
In a statement, Agbor said: “The attention of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has been drawn to a Daily Trust report titled, “NNPP-LP alliance: ‘Kwankwaso can deputise Obi,” published on Sunday 19th June 2022, and dismisses it as false and figment of the reporter’s imagination.
“NNPP has never at any time said its esteemed presidential candidate, His Excellency, Engr Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, could accept to be Labour Party, Peter Obi’s deputy. The report is misleading and embarrassing to our great party, its presidential candidate, Kwankwaso and millions of supporters in Nigeria and in the diaspora, and urges journalists to crosscheck their reports before publishing them to avoid national disaffection ahead of the crucial 2023 general election.
NNPP said as a mass movement, it acknowledged alliance talks with the Labour Party that would consolidate and boost the nation’s frail democracy as Nigerians collectively strive for a new Nigeria which the party champions.
“The Sunday Trust newspaper correctly stated in its report; “Asked to verify the proposed alliance, Major (Agbo) said talks were still ongoing and he wouldn’t want to speculate.” If the party’s national publicity secretary, Dr Agbo Major, had said “talks were ongoing and he wouldn’t want to speculate,” how did the newspaper arrive at Kwankwaso can deputise Obi?
“NNPP has high regard for journalists as the watchdog of the nation and major stakeholders in the Nigeria democratic process and urges them to always crosscheck their reports before publishing them in tandem with the ethics of their profession. Together, we shall build a strong, virile, progressive and egalitarian democratic society, ” Agbo added.