Peter Obi agrees to join forces with PDP for Atiku’s emergence – Sources

Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, has joined forces with his former boss and PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as both parties reportedly agree to a deal to secure the emergence of the latter at an eyebrow-raising meeting held in London this week.

Recall that Obi was running mate to Atiku in 2019 general election on the platform of PDP and he has repeatedly demonstrated his unwavering loyalty to the former Vice President, including recently at the 62nd NBA Conference where his apparent deference formed part of the talking points.

Obi’s presence at the PDP peace meeting in London on Thursday confirmed the curiosity of several Nigerians who were dismayed by his open fraternization with members of the “entrenched political class” he is purportedly not a member of and is running to ‘depose’.

The meeting was a gathering of the PDP old and new boys, including Donald Duke, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.

Although his advisers tried to minimize the potential damaging fallouts of his presence at the high-stake meeting with a careful omission of the former Anambra Governor in pictures of the PDP powerbrokers convening at a table to bargain and agree on political settlements central to the party’s victory in 2023, sources familiar with the discussions have told Pageone that Obi played more than the role of a bystander and was in fact a major discussion point.

We were reliably told that the meeting, also attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was aimed at re-uniting the ranks of the PDP and ensuring that the party posts a united front in 2023 against the ruling APC.

Despite the attention showered on Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike considering his open rebellion threats and recent camaraderie with figures of the APC that gave rise to speculations of a possible decamp, our sources maintained that securing an alliance with Obi, who has managed to excite a notable section of young electorates after leaving the party for the Labour Party, was the more immediate goal of the meeting.

According to our sources, Atiku acknowledged at the meeting that Obi’s emergence as a candidate and soaring popularity amongst a group of electorates have complicated his victory calculations, especially in the Eastern region of the country where he is looking to shore up numbers to make up for a predicted loss in the North East where the popularity of the APC Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, is expected to deliver the region to the ruling party.

Atiku also noted that Obi’s online clatter – much of which has been criticized as characterized by abuse, intimidation, fake news, and driven by secessionist IPOB propaganda network – has drowned out his campaign and threatens his ability to unite the populace behind his preferred electoral narrative as the official opposition to the APC.

To forestall the envisaged danger, Atiku made an offer to Obi to rejoin the PDP family and help clear the path for his emergence, our sources said. Although it remains unclear whether or not the deal includes a possible step down from Obi at the final hour, we were able to gather that both parties agreed to work together to deny the APC votes in certain parts of the country where Obi will effectively play the ‘spoiler’ role.

This also includes the South-west region where Obi has been tasked to continue his posturing as the ‘better alternative’ to the duopoly of the APC and PDP as a decoy to steal votes that would have otherwise gone to the APC. He was also asked to contribute to the PDP’s outreach to the Eastern region where Atiku is looking to diffuse growing tensions and re-establish the PDP as the popular choice.

Obi’s acceptance to play the spoiler role and clear the path for the emergence of Atiku and PDP in 2023 was conditioned on the promised reward of a very senior position in a possible PDP administration should Atiku win the election, our sources claimed. We were not able to ascertain the actual position promised to the former Anambra governor from our sources.

Other sources contacted to ascertain the reward that convinced Obi to join forces with his old boss speculated a possible swap which would see Obi reclaim his previous position as running mate, although that is certain to face legal obstacles. Others have said he may be made to preside over the management of the economy in an Atiku administration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *