Former National Chairma of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Victor Umeh, said yesterday that the coalition talks between the Labour Party, LP, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, ended on June’s 15.
Umeh, who is vying for a senatorial seat on the platform of LP, said the talks “collapsed completely” because both parties could not agree on who will be the presidential candidate.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Umeh faulted the presidential candidate of NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for giving the impression that the talks between both parties were still in progress.
Umeh, who disclosed that the Labour Party was no longer interested in “every other discussion” with the NNPP, said: “We are surprised at the recent media blaze by the members of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to continuously suggest that they were locked in a negotiation with the Labour Party to have a partnership or arrangement where the two parties will work together in 2023.
“We are surprised to continuously see this, we had this discussion precisely on June 15, more than three weeks ago. What necessitated the meeting was that the NNPP and LP working together will give a better opportunity for the presidential election to be won. And the two parties set up two teams.
“Myself, Julius Aboreh, the Labour Party chairman who led our team; Doyin Okupe went to that discussion on behalf of the Labour Party; while the NNPP put forward Buba Galadima, Abdullahi Baffa, former executive secretary of TETFUND, and Ladipo Johnson.
“It was a three-man team; we met for long hours, adjourned and we came back. When it became obvious that it had become a dialogue between a deaf and dumb person, we called off the negotiation.[b]
[b]LP may pick Senator Baba Ahmed as Obi’s running mate
Also, the Labour Party temporary Vice Presidential Candidate, Dr Doyin Okupe, said the LP/NNPP alliance talks had collapsed.
Speaking on Channels Television Politics Today programme, yesterday, Okupe said the merger failed because Kwankwaso of the NNPP insisted on being the presidential flagbearer, even when a Northern Muslim of same North-West geo-political zone, President Muhammadu Buhari, is about to complete eight years in office.
He said during coalition talks he had asked the NNPP leadership if it was fair to field Kwankwaso, a northerner, of which the NNPP leadership said there was nothing wrong with that.
Okupe revealed that LP is now looking at young running mate of northern extraction.
News Desk Paper gathered yesterday that Senator Datti Baba Ahmed, 46, from Kaduna State may be picked as Obi’s running mate.
Senator Ahmed, who has four degrees including a PhD was a member of the House of Representatives (2003 and 2007), and was elected Senator (Kaduna North) in 2011 on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. He is the founder and pro-Chancellor of Baze University.