2027: FG, presidency dismiss Atiku, Obi’s planned alliance

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The Federal Government has dismissed the planned alliance between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

According to the Presidency, President Bola Tinubu is not bothered about the planned alliance, noting that the President was not losing sleep over alliance plots by Atiku and Obi.

Atiku had contested the presidency in 2023 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party but lost. Obi also contested as a presidential candidate on the platform of the Labour Party and came third in the election.

Last week, Obi held a private meeting with Atiku and some other PDP leaders in Abuja. Obi also met separately with former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President Bukola Saraki, sparking speculations about a possible coalition for the 2027 general elections.

However, in an interview on Friday, Atiku stated that if the PDP decided in 2027 that it was the South-East’s turn to field the presidential candidate and selected Obi, he would readily offer his support.

“I have said repeatedly, and I even said it before the 2023 general elections, that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South, or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it. As long as it’s the decision of the party, I will abide by it. I contested the 2023 presidential ticket, because it was thrown open to all members of the party.

“If the party decides that it’s the turn of the South-East, and Peter Obi is chosen, I won’t hesitate to support him,” Atiku declared in a recent interview with BBC Hausa Service.

He added that a merger between the PDP and LP was possible. Atiku stressed that party members would decide their fate in the 2027 general elections. The former Vice President mentioned that his recent meeting with Obi might indicate a possible alliance leading up to the 2027 general elections.

Responding to questions about the meeting with Obi, Atiku said, “It was just a normal friendly meeting that we often have, particularly among us in the opposition parties. Such meetings are healthy for Nigeria’s democracy and in the country’s interest.”

On whether it would bring about a merger, he said, “Yes, it’s very much possible. We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible, and nothing can stop it if we wish to achieve that.”

Atiku, who denied that the choice of presidential candidate might frustrate the merger discussion, said, “That is not true. That challenge will not arise. I can tell you that the choice of who will fly the flag of the party won’t be an issue.”

On why he was still in active politics, Atiku said, “We can’t keep quiet and watch things go wrong. People are suffering, and we are committed to making Nigeria a better place.

“I am still in active politics in Nigeria; at least, as long as God permits.

“My age doesn’t stop the young ones from trying their luck. Everybody, irrespective of age, is allowed to aspire to be anything in society, politically or otherwise.”

Regarding his 2027 presidential ambition, the former Vice President said, “That would depend on the decision of my party. I can’t make any categorical statement on that. It is the duty of the party to decide on the way to go in the next election.”

Reacting to the planned alliance, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, said the Federal Government was not worried about the planned merger or alliance. According to him, anybody could decide to collaborate and meet.

He stated that the question, for him, was what happened after the talk and numerous meetings. The minister stressed that Tinubu’s works would speak for him in the next election cycle in 2027.

“The government is not thinking about them at all. We are focused on delivering on the mandate handed over to President Bola Tinubu. With the good works the government is doing, he is already the toast of Nigerians.

“So, they will continue to support him. Just a few days ago, the Federal Government inaugurated three critical gas infrastructure projects in Imo and Delta states to drive the country’s gas sector. The projects are the ANOH-OB3 CTMS gas pipeline and ANOH gas processing plant in Assa, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State.

“The President also inaugurated the expansion of the AHL gas processing plant 2 gas project in Kwale, Delta State. The social security programme is ongoing. The Compressed Natural Gas project is there as well. Dry farming initiatives have taken root, and so many other projects that will benefit Nigerians are either ongoing or in the pipeline.

“Tell me, how will the meeting of those two men be an issue? No, we are not worried at all. The government of President Tinubu is focused and not disturbed,” he said.

Also reacting, a senior presidential aide, Bayo Onanuga, speaking on Saturday, said President Tinubu and his administration were not bothered by the politicking going on by Atiku and ‘his gang of desperadoes’.

He said, “We are only surprised that they are plotting just one year after an election they lost. They are still behaving like sore losers.

“We are not bothered by the games they are playing, as they are revealing their mindset. They are mere politicians who only think about the next election.

“President Tinubu is a true statesman who is concerned about fulfilling his promises to Nigerians.

“At the moment, he is very busy resetting the economy of our country for the better, laying the foundation that ought to have been laid decades ago.”

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