The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Saturday, said his party is discussing with the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on the possibility of forming a coalition for next year’s general election.
“It is true we are in talks with Peter Obi and a committee is working to look into how to form a merger between us.
“Friends and family are being up and doing talking about the merger arrangement,” Mr Kwankwaso added.
The merger is important because as you can see both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not pick their running mates from the South-east, Mr Kwankwaso said.
Mr Kwankwaso’s NNPP has a large following in the north of the country, particularly the north-west while Mr Obi recently defected from the PDP and joined the Labour Party. He has endeared himself to large youth following in the south of the country.
However, a merger is legally impossible between both parties before next year’s general elections.
What is possible is an alliance that could see supporters of either party vote for candidates of the other in their areas of strength.
They could also agree to present joint candidates for presidential and governorship elections with one party producing the candidate and the other the running mate. The two-person team could then choose to run on the platform of one of the two parties.
Some supporters of Messrs Kwankwaso and Obi have called for such a joint presidential candidacy but it is unclear if either of them would be willing to drop his ambition to become the running mate of the other.