The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are certain the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, stands no chance in Saturday’s keenly contested vote.
The Deputy Spokesperson and Deputy Director, Public Affairs, APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Hanatu Musawa; and a PDP member, Ladan Salihu, made their arguments on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Wednesday.
The APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar are considered front-runners alongside Obi. The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, is also believed to be a wild card.
While Salihu held that Obi’s chances are hampered by a lack of political structure across the country, compared to the PDP, Musawa described the Labour Party’s victory as a “constitutional impossibility”.
‘No Numbers To Compete In The North’
The PDP argued that a study at the political parties and their grassroots structures show that the NNPP and the Labour Party “don’t have representation on the ground in the North – no governors, no senators.”
Asked if the lack of subnational representation matters, Salihu said, “It matters to some people, but to the PDP, we’re not so much concerned (sic). I wouldn’t say I sympathise [with the party] but my heart goes out to the Labour for not having the kind of numbers to compete.
“How do you have a party going into a presidential election [and] out of 176,000 polling stations, your presence is only felt in 42,000? So, there’s just no way Labour can pose a threat to the PDP in the North. Ditto NNPP.”
According to the PDP chieftain, the 2023 race is a contest with the APC – but barely.
“We’re not losing sleep over beating Bola Ahmed Tinubu because that has been done and dusted, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
The APC shared Salihu’s sentiment that the contest is a two-man race, describing it as a “straight contest between APC and PDP – that’s the reality”.
Musawa admitted that “other brilliant candidates” are in the running, though her view is that none of them has the kind of political structure or capital needed to achieve victory.
“My concern is this narrative that has been put out there that the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, has an opportunity.
“Yes, he’s got an opportunity to contest but there is a constitutional impossibility for Peter Obi to win this election because of the way our laws are constituted. It’s just not possible.
“He’s disrupting the PDP, not the APC because what Peter Obi has done is he’s cannibalising the votes of the PDP. I’m completely ruling,” she said.