The Labour Party’s National Secretary, Umar Farouk, has refuted claims of a potential merger between the party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and political figures Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Leading campaigns for LP candidates ahead of the September 2 Local Government Area election in Edo State, Peter Obi’s involvement has sparked speculation. It has been reported that Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party, are engaging in discussions to establish a formidable coalition aimed at challenging the ruling party’s dominance.
However, Farouk dismissed these rumors during an interview with ThePunch, categorically stating that there is no truth to these claims. While acknowledging Peter Obi’s right to associate with whomever he chooses, Farouk emphasized that the Labour Party remains resolute in its decision to refrain from merging with any other political entity.
Farouk asserted, “That is devoid of truth. It seems to be a figment of the author’s imagination. As a party, we have not received any such proposition. If any such activities are occurring, it is conceivable that Peter Obi is pursuing them as an individual candidate, well within his prerogative to forge alliances as he deems fit.”
“However,” Farouk continued, “the Labour Party, as an entity, has no intentions of merging with any political party. Such a notion is entirely contrary to our principles, and we firmly maintain that the Labour Party will uphold its distinct identity without merging with any other entity.”
Echoing Farouk’s stance, Tai Obasi, media aide to Peter Obi, corroborated the standpoint in an interview with ThePunch. Obasi emphasized that no discussions regarding a merger have taken place between Peter Obi and other political figures. He questioned the rationale behind such speculations without considering the verdict of the tribunal and indicated that the focus remains on legal proceedings rather than potential political partnerships.
Obasi conveyed, “To the best of my knowledge, there is no basis for these claims. We await the tribunal’s verdict. Engaging in merger talks prior to obtaining a judgment seems premature. Additionally, it is unclear whether this speculated merger would involve opposition factions or follow an alternate structure.”
Obasi underlined that his principal, Peter Obi, has not indicated any intention to merge with other politicians, and that the rumors circulating are without foundation.