Is Atiku Collaborating With Peter Obi and Kwankwaso Against APC?


By Oluwaseye Ogunsanya

A popular online blog Naija @Naija_PR posted a news update claiming that PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar is set to meet with Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi and New Nigeria Peoples Party’s candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in a collaboration effort to wrestle power from the hands of APC.


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A popular online blog, Naija @Naija_PR tweeted a news update here claiming that PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar is set to meet with Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi and New Nigeria Peoples Party’s candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in a collaboration effort to wrestle power from the hands of APC.

The news update can also be found here, here and here and they all indicate that the story was lifted from a report by Saturday PUNCH with the headline “Atiku to consult Obi, Kwankwaso, Tinubu considers Lalong, El-Rufai, SGF, others”

The tweet was accompanied with a picture of Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso which was taken in 2018 during the run up to the 2019 presidential election. Kwankwaso had led Kwakwansiya Movement, on a visit to declare his support for Atiku Abubakar.

As at the time of writing this report, the tweet has garnered 2395 retweets and 15.8k likes.

Obi, who is a former governor of Anambra State and Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 presidential election had obtained the N40m presidential forms of the PDP before defecting to Labour Party to actualise his presidential ambition. He said that “recent developments” within the party which would make it impossible for him to make “constructive contributions” was the reason for his resignation.

On the other hand, Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State and a former Minister of Defence who was a prominent member of the party left for the second time in eight years because of “some serious and irreconcilable differences.” and has clinched the NNPP presidential ticket.

It is believed that both men’s exit from the party would affect its chances of winning the February 25, 2023 presidential election as Obi’s exit will further split the votes of the South, which is known to be PDP’s stronghold, while Kwankwaso’s exit will have a similar effect in the North, especially Kano State, which has bloc votes.

It is as a result of the above that the leadership of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are considering the possibility of engaging Mr. Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, in talks on how to collaborate to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress.

This claim is somewhat true. While Atiku and the leadership of PDP may be exploring the possibility of forming an alliance with Obi and Kwankwaso to defeat the APC according to our findings what we know for now about both Obi and Kwankwaso is that they are not willing to join hands or withdraw their aspiration for Atiku and they’re ready to go to the polls.

Checks by FactCheckElection shows that this claim is somewhat true.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, a media consultant to Atiku, Paul Ibe, said that he could not say if such moves were being made, but that since his emergence, the candidate had been consulting stakeholders.

“After he won the primary, he met with other aspirants, PDP governors, former ministers and other stakeholders. In this race, especially when you are contesting against a ruling party, everyone matters. These are extraordinary times and they require extraordinary measures.

“So, there will be alliances and the objective is to kick out the APC that has done nothing than to make Nigerians suffer, promote division and entrench a state of insecurity. But I can’t say if the party is reaching out to them (Obi and Kwankwaso).”

But according to the report, a source privy to the planned discussions said, “We will talk to them. The battle ahead is not personal. We need to win the election and rescue the country from the bad governance of the ruling party. Thank God that we have about nine months ahead of us before the conduct of the general elections.

“We have enough time to engage people and solidify whatever agreement we want to propose. We should not allow this opportunity to slip from our hands.”

Obi Will Not Step Down For Any Candidate – Okupe

However, the Director-General of the Peter Obi Campaign Organisation, Dr Doyin Okupe, has vowed that the former governor would not step down for any candidate, adding that the candidate and his supporters were focused on the task ahead.

“The support Peter Obi is getting across the country is too massive for anyone to ask him to step down for anyone. Nobody ever thought Obi could leave the PDP, but he left. The real third force is here with us. The coming revolution is beyond Obi. Peter Obi is a man whose time has come. The PDP and the APC have expired. They are no longer relevant in Nigeria’s current situation.”

Similarly, Obi’s media aide, Valentine Obienyem, has ruled out the possibility of his principal working with Atiku if approached, saying that it would dash the hopes of many Nigerians and leave them disappointed.

“If today he (Obi) says he is going back to the PDP to be a running mate, I can tell you that if he walks on the street, many Nigerians will stone him and they will see him as a disappointment. Nigerians want him and the only thing we can do for him is to encourage him to answer the call of Nigerians. So, he will contest and I’m sure he will win, all things being equal.” He said to PUNCH.

I Will Not Withdraw My Ambition For Any Other Candidate – Kwankwaso

In the same vein, Kwankwaso said he would not step down or withdraw his ambition for any other candidate adding that he was certain of victory over Tinubu and Atiku in 2023.

“I won’t be stepping down for anyone; our party is popular across the country and we are sure of victory at the polls.

“Our candidacy is based on capacity and performance. People are looking for those who have done it better in the past, and people who are trusted. Nigerians want someone who can unite Nigeria, improve the educational system and end insecurity.

“We will defeat the two major parties at the polls in 2023. The Kwankwasiyya Movement is very popular, and we will win even in the North-East. I’m happy that the Electoral Bill was signed into law, and that will make it difficult for anyone to rig us out as they have always done. Once there is a free and fair election, it will be difficult for anyone to defeat us.” He said.

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