2027: Atiku, Obi, Saraki, Lamido Begin Alliance Talks

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Ahead of the 2027 election, moves towards a political alliance between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, came to the fore yesterday.

 

This followed Obi’s surprise visit to Atiku, who the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

Besides Atiku, Obi also met two other PDP leaders, namely former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki and a founding father of PDP and former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido.

 

Obi met the PDP leaders at their Abuja residences.

 

Although details of what was discussed during the visits are still shrouded in secrecy, Atiku, on his X handle said, “It was my honour and privilege to host @PeterObi today. -AA”

 

A source within Atiku’s camp confided in LEADERSHIP that a line of communication had been established between Atiku and Obi through their emissaries.

 

The source added that yesterday’s public meeting was a culmination of talks between both camps which had started even when the former vice president was out of the country.

 

The source added, “This meeting today (yesterday) has been long in coming. Atiku and Obi have been interfacing leading up to this meeting. “

 

The insider further disclosed that, although not finalised yet, the talks between the camps of the two political leaders centre around an alliance ahead of 2027.

 

“They are in discussion about forming an alliance ahead of 2027 election, more like a repeat of their alliance in the 2019 election.”

 

The source said the political platform on which such alliance will take place is also part of the discussion.

 

he source said, “The infiltration of PDP by external influence is a huge concern at the moment. But there is no definite position yet on which platform to use yet. The issue at the moment is that both of them are fixated on forming the alliance in the interest of Nigeria.”

 

The source, however, didn’t give details on when the alliance will be concretised.

 

Atiku and Obi had run as PDP presidential candidate and running mate in 2019.

 

But Atiku and Obi could not repeat their alliance in 2023 after the latter left PDP for Labour Party to pursue his presidential bid.

 

Atiku and Obi lost the 2023 election to President Bola Tinubu, coming in, in second and third places respectively.

 

Since losing the 2023 presidential election, Atiku has repeatedly called for an alliance of opposition platforms to defeat the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

Obi, on his part, has been broadening his political reach especially in the North.

 

During Ramadan, Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, visited communities in Northern Nigeria, broke fast with them, and provided basic amenities they lacked, including water boreholes, which attracted mixed reactions.

 

However, speaking on Obi’s visit to Atiku, Saraki and Lamido, Obi’s spokesman, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said it was in continuation of his commitment to the peace and progress of the nation.

 

“His abiding devotion is to the emergence of a Nigeria that works for all its peoples and where the people are quickly pulled out of poverty.

 

“Worried about the state of the nation and the increasing uncertainty in the living conditions of the poor and underprivileged, Obi in Abuja on Monday visited some top Nigerians, among whom are former vice president and PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki and the former governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido.

 

“At the centre of discussion during each of these visits was the state of the nation and how to reduce the suffering of all Nigerians irrespective of class and location.

 

“In particular, the desperate condition of the downtrodden in our midst was highlighted. Of particular interest and emphasis in these discussions was the worrisome situation in the Northern parts of the country,” Yunusa said.

 

On his part, a former chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi, on his X handle said: “I was in Atiku’s house when @PeterObi came to tell him he would pick the form for primary in 2023. I know there’s so much respect and concord between them. @atiku won’t mind Obi being president vice versa.

 

“It was political aides who spoiled the game by displacing Obi with…”

 

Barely days before Obi’s visit to the PDP leaders, Atiku’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, disclosed in an interview that the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, was instrumental in the exit of Peter Obi from PDP.

 

He also stated that Atiku was ready to zone the PDP presidential ticket to the Southeast.

 

He stated this during an appearance on Seun Okinbaloye’s Mic-On podcast released on Saturday.

 

“Atiku did not force Peter Obi out of the party; Wike was instrumental to the exit of Obi because Wike had promoted the zoning of the presidency to the south.

 

“Atiku Abubakar had said that he was prepared to get himself off the ticket if the party zoned the ticket to the Southeast.

 

“Wike frustrated that effort because he believed that if it was zoned to the south, not the southeast, he would be in the best position to be able to get the ticket.”

 

Efforts to get the national chairman of the Labour Party, Barr Julius Abure to respond to the development didn’t yield results as he wasn’t taking his calls.

 

Similarly, the national publicity secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, did not answer his phone.

 

However, Mr. Lamidi Apapa, the factional chairman of the Labour Party, spoke to LEADERSHIP last night, saying that although Peter Obi was free to hold merger talks with like minds, he would ultimately require the party leadership’s approval to seal any deal.

 

“Yes, our presidential candidate has the right to discuss with people. But his discussion must be approved by the party. And for now, there is no such approval,” Apapa said.

 

Meanwhile, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who didn’t want his name in print, said the party would respond at the appropriate time.

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