The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has said that alliance between his party and Labour Party collapsed because the latter was overhyped by the press.
He stated this while responding to a questions at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chattam House, on Wednesday, likening the rise of the Labour Party to the effervescence of Andrews Liver Salts.
Recall that shortly after political parties’ primaries last year, there were hopes that the two political parties would form an alliance against the two dominant parties, APC and PDP.
In July, the then director general of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Doyin Okupe, declared that the talks between the two parties had ended after failed negotiations.
He said the talks collapsed following the insistence of the NNPP to field the presidential candidate.
But while responding to a question from one of the participants on whether he would consider stepping down for Mr Obi, the former Kano State Governor “the gentleman who asked the question, I am sure came from a particular group or region even without asking him.”
He said the NNPP is a national party, unlike the LP, which he described as a regional and religious party.
He said in as much as followers have the right to hold leaders accountable, it’s important for followers to do the same and refrain from addressing issues with a biased mindset.
“If you have a party that is based on ethnicity and religion… that is the difference between the Labour Party and our party, which is a national party.
“While we are accusing leaders of being one thing or another, I think the followers also, must learn how to be Nigerians.
Mr Kwankwaso noted he was one of those who conceived the idea of allying with the LP before the talks deadlocked.
“Let me say that I was one of those who initially wanted to work together with the Labour Party. But unfortunately, at that time, the Labour Party was under serious media hype, and they could not see reason. I wish you didn’t go to that extent of asking me if I will withdraw,” Mr Kwankwaso added.