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PDP, LP won’t collapse structures for merger – Party leaders



The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party have ruled out dropping names and party structures for the 2027 general election, but would rather consider allying to unseat the current All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ibrahim Abdullahi, and the spokesperson for the Labour Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Yunusa Tanko, indicated this in separate interviews with The PUNCH.

Weeks ago, the 2023 presidential candidate of the LP, Peter Obi, held a closed-door meeting with ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Abuja.

Obi also had separate meetings with ex-Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, sparking speculation of a potential merger of the two political parties ahead of the 2027 election.

Speaking on the development, Abdullahi said Nigerians should be pleased that various democratic forces were coming together to save the country from those he labelled political opportunists.

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, the PDP chieftain stressed that the interests of the PDP and other political parties involved were secondary, stating that the primary goal was to rescue Nigerians from the failing APC in 2027.

“And the interests of the PDP or other parties are not even necessary, everyone needs to come together and see how to come up with an approach that will deliver Nigeria from this treatment of poverty, despair, and despondency pervading the land.

“So the meeting of Atiku, Obi, and many others is an approach to rescuing Nigeria from this headless and maladministration of the APC. So we are not talking about merging. We are talking about forming alliances across party lines to see what in the days ahead will be the best approach to chasing these people out in 2027,” he said.

He clarified that the discussion was about allying, not a merger, adding that neither the PDP nor the LP needed to dismantle their existing structures.

“So, the important thing to understand is that alliance does not necessarily mean political parties will replace their names. No, it’s a question of forming alliances much on the single political party remaining with each name, logo, texture, and everything.

“They don’t have to necessarily collapse. You know, the parties are there for one platform. No, they could just say okay, you have followership in this party, but we’re calling you to identify with this party and run elections under this party, but you are still recognising your identified platform, but for exigency, you can just collapse your structure into this party, and first of all, win the election and then we begin to talk about how to share the responsibility.

“Not like the regular alliance APC did in 2014 to oust the PDP out of power. No, LP is not ready to relinquish its name and structure into PDP. PDP too is not willing to do the same, but the politicians in these parties are willing,” he said.

Tanko, in his comment, said any potential merger must adhere to the fundamental principles of the political parties.

He said Atiku and Obi must first develop strategies for moving forward, before involving their respective parties.

“That (merging) would take a technical level and technical vision, and the technical discussion will be done at the party level. But this particular discussion is discussed at the highest level of interest. ‘You are a presidential candidate, I am a presidential candidate, let us reason together on how to solve the problem.’

“So that will dovetail into the issue of merger, then the technical issue of political parties will be done.”

The presidential candidate’s spokesman, however, said merging of political parties requires considering the technicalities, adding that for now, it remained a discussion between two leading candidates.

“Because a merger means that people will leave their political party and be subjected to scrutiny or leave this particular banner, the logo, and their names and adopt new names, logos, and others.

“But an alliance means that you just work together and meet with each other. This is your strength, this is my strength. Let’s do it together and see how it works.

“So, two things happen. Let the leaders first of all agree on that, after which they can drag their political parties into it,” he said.



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