Labour Party’s flagbearer, Mr Peter Obi, has denied reports that he agreed to a deal with his self-admitted political leader and erstwhile principal, Atiku Abubakar, to help the emergence of the latter as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Podium Reporters exclusively reported a deal struck between the two parties at a recent meeting in London which had in attendance major stakeholders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obi’s former political party before his sudden exit earlier this year when it became clear his bid for a presidential ticket, after running in the last cycle as running mate to Atiku, was heading for the rocks.
We were reliably told by sources privy to discussions at the meeting that Atiku acknowledged Obi’s threat to his victory chances due primarily to the former Anambra governor’s growing acceptance in the eastern region – a region Atiku and the PDP historically count on as a reliable voter base.
To forestall an envisaged danger, Atiku and other members of the PDP leadership brokered a deal with Obi and tasked the Labour Party candidate to play a ‘spoiler role’, effectively using his run as a gambit to aid the victory and emergence of Atiku, our sources said.
However, in reaction, Obi said his “foreign trip, its motive, and where and who to meet are already in the public domain; his meeting in the UK with some Nigerian political leaders is visually seen by all.”
His response was contained in a Saturday statement issued by his campaign office. Obi has yet to appoint an official spokesman for his campaign, or indeed set up any formal campaign structure, as his adopted party remains mired in infighting over the allocation of power and resources, particularly financial donations that have since tripled since the candidate’s emergence.
His response failed to answer growing questions about his fraternization with members of the same political class he claims not to belong to and is running to displace.
More Nigerians have openly expressed doubts about the sincerity of Obi’s claim as a viable option to the duopoly of the APC and PDP, with many asserting that the Labour Party is no more than an assortment of aggrieved ex-PDP members who only seek to prove a point and strengthen their hand at the negotiating table before making a return.