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2023: How far can Obi go with LP ticket?
By Clifford Ndujihe

LESS than one week after leaving the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, won the Labour Party, LP, presidential ticket in style.
He joined the workers’ party, on Friday, exactly 48 hours to the primaries held in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

For the Presidency in 2023, Obi, who was the PDP vice presidential candidate in 2019 to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has now been handed electoral boxing gloves to face Atiku, who on Saturday picked the PDP ticket for the second time in four years.

Apart from Atiku and the PDP, the former Anambra State governor will also face a contender from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and others

Hailed as Mr. Prudent by his admirers, Obi said he would repeat what he did in Anambra at the national level.

According to him, massive investment in power, and education and creation of employment opportunities will help in combating insecurity.

Lofty plans! Will Obi realise his presidential quest on the banner of the Labour Party? This is the question on the lips of many observers.

However, proponents of the Third Force Movement, which LP is part of are eyeing a coalition of nine of the 18 registered political parties and other groups ahead of the 2023 general polls.

The push is to give the Nigerian electorate a credible alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, one of the leaders.

National Chairman of the Labour Party, Comrade Julius Abure, said Obi’s entry into LP shows that a credible alternative to APC and PDP will win the 2023 polls.

His words: “The Labour Party, the official political platform of the working people of Nigeria, wishes to formally and warmly welcome Peter Obi, his campaign organisation and teeming supporters nationwide into our grand coalition of the progressives and leaders of conscience set to rescue and take back Nigeria by 2023.

“The grand entrance of Peter Obi and the mass movement of his teeming supporters and followers nationwide, who are still trooping into the Labour Party, confirms to the whole world that the 2023 election is as good as won by our credible political alternatives to the ruling APC and PDP, especially with the growing backing of the Nigerian people, who are already extremely tired of the mal-administration of APC and PDP governments at all levels.

“We wish to invite all well-meaning Nigerians, including women, youths, physically challenged, the poor and the well to do, among others to immediately join forces with the Labour Party to rescue Nigeria from the heightening insecurity and imminent collapse foisted by incompetent rulers of Nigeria, currently trading in Delegates all over the country.

“The Party also wishes to reaffirm our resolved commitment to executing our party manifesto, as further enunciated by the Labour Charter of Demand/ Policy recently initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, while also reaffirming our unwavering endorsement of the Rescue Agenda of the Third Force Movement of Nigeria initiated by the Prof Pat Utomi-led National Consultative Front, NCFront, which recently adopted our party of mass productivity as the ‘Third Force’ Mega ‘Rescue’ platform for Nigeria in the 2023 elections with over 20 million membership of the Third Force Movement joining the Labour Party.”

Emerging LP coalition
After 15 months of discussion and engagements six parties on the banner of Allied political parties, and the National Consultative Front, NCFront, the umbrella body of the Third Force Movement, penultimate week agreed to join forces with the Labour Party to present a joint presidential and other candidates for the 2023 polls.

This adoption of the Labour Party was made possible by the new rapprochement between the leadership of the Labour Movement and the hierarchy of the Labour Party-an emergent solidarity jointly spearheaded by President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba; and the Trade Union Congress, TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, who have revalidated their membership of the Labour Party by formally registering with the party, two weeks ago.

Leaders of the ‘Third Force’ Movement across party lines including Prof Attahiru Jega of the People’s Redemption Party, PRP, Professor Pat Utomi of the Labour Party and Senator Saidu Dansadau of the National Rescue Movement, NRM. The other parties in the coalition are African Democratic Congress, ADC: New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP; Social Democratic Party, SDP; and Allied Peoples Movement, APM.

Currently, the NNPP has former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a leading presidential aspirant. The SDP, PRP and ADC, also have presidential aspirants.
A leader of the Third Force told Vanguard that they are determined to make the coalition work.

“We want to repeat what the APC did in 2015 when it defeated an incumbent party at the federal level. You can see the moment Obi’s entry into LP is building. We are moving to consolidate. After the primaries of the parties we will come together like the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and All People’s Party, APP, did in 1999 and fielded a joint presidential candidate.”

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