The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has reportedly offered former Anambra State governor Peter Obi the ticket of running mate to the National Leader of the party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
A source mentioned to The Nation that while the party is willing to give him the position of vice president, his followers are insisting on the presidential ticket, with Kwankwaso serving as his running mate.
The source said further that zoning of the presidential ticket of the APC and the PDP would determine the final decision of the NNPP, added that Obi, Kwankwaso and some of the party leaders had met to discuss the issue ahead of the party’s presidential primary slated for June 2 in Abuja.
“I heard authoritatively that he wants to join NNPP, but whether he will accept to be the vice presidential candidate, which they are prepared to offer him, is not confirmed.
“Dr. Doyin Okupe and some of his followers are hell bent that he must be the presidential candidate, while Kwankwaso serves as the vice-presidential candidate. Wherever the APC and the PDP zone their presidential slots to will be the final determining factor.”
National Chairman of the party, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali who was not forthcoming on whether Obi was heading for the NNPP or what they were offering him, said in a text message “That will be a great news”.
Alkali also revealed that they’ve been talking to several aggrieved politicians from the other parties, with a view to having them cross over to the NNPP, but he ruled out automatic ticket for anybody.
He added that those to be offered the party’s ticket must be ready to play by the rules of the party, adding that offering automatic ticket to anybody would go against the guidelines put in place by the party for its primaries.
“The truth is that, if you talk of automatic ticket for anybody, that will amount to subverting our guidelines for the primaries, our own constitution and even the Nigerian constitution.
“Election is supposed to be open to everybody, both old members of the party and new comers. But whoever comes in, as long as the sale of form has not been closed, he is at liberty to purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms. He will not be excluded, but may require a waiver from the party.
“The rule is that whenever you join a political party, even though you are accepted as a member of the party, you will require a waiver to show that the party has finally accepted you as a member to stand for election.
“But the issue of automatic ticket does not arise because other members of the party are going to fight him. There are people who will fee aggrieved that you are giving automatic ticket to some people. He should subject himself to primaries and if he is popular, he will emerge.”
Alkali also confirmed that discussions are ongoing to attract other big politicians to the party. He said;
“We are talking to those who have not been treated fairly in other parties. We look for them and reach out to them because this is a Nigerian project.
“We are talking about the future of our country. So, anybody who comes and embraces our core mission and values is welcome because we are going to do things differently from how they have been done in other parties.
“But the person must understand that when you come, you must also be guided by our own rules, our constitution and our code of conduct because that is the only way we can ensure that we are different from others. So, we have been reaching out.”