The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has given a condition to accept the proposed merger of opposition parties in the country suggested by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Recall that Atiku, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had suggested that opposition parties should enter a merger to dislodge the APC from power in 2027.
The former vice president made the suggestion while hosting the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) in his Abuja residence on Monday.
The PDP flagbearer warned against the likelihood of Nigeria slipping into a one-party state.
Reacting to the proposition in an interview with The Punch on Wednesday, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yakubu Shendam, described Atiku’s call as emotional and medicine after death.
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He said the party would only consider the merger if Atiku would support the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, to become the President.
Shendam said NNPP could only accept the proposal if Atiku would support Kwankwaso to lead the fight to wrest power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027.
He said, “This is like medicine after death. If there is any future collaboration, it should not be as a result of emotions. We are going all along because we have a gladiator who has the capacity to take over Nigeria.
“We believe that there is a need to canvass for support from people to win the election from all sides. However, we believe that single-handedly, Kwankwaso can deliver Nigeria in 2027.
“But that doesn’t mean that we are not looking for players like Atiku to join our party. If there is going to be a merger, it should be with the NNPP, because Atiku is now retiring, so he should support Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
“We don’t want to join forces with people who are under emotions, but we are comfortable as a party having a person like Rabiu Kwankwaso as our national leader. We are calling on Atiku as an elder brother to close ranks with Kwankwaso if he wants to be relevant in 2027.”