The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, on Monday, seemingly responded to a report that he was in talks with Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Kwankwaso for a possible merger to wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC), assuring supporters of his commitment to the party.
Speaking at a mega rally in Edo State ahead of the local government elections in the state, Obi told hundreds of party supporters that some of the things they are hearing everywhere were rumours.
“Labour Party will continue to grow. We will continue to go stronger (and) better. Half of the things you are hearing everywhere are rumours, don’t listen to them. We are committed to building a better and a new Nigeria where we will move Nigeria from consumption to production,” Obi said to loud cheers from the crowd.
The report comes less than six months after the February 25 presidential election in which Obi emerged third behind the eventual winner, President Bola Tinubu of the APC and second-placed Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The results, according to the final declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), put Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) in fourth place.
Both Atiku and Obi are challenging the results declared by INEC in court, with the tribunal reserving judgement in the suits after the parties concerned concluded their arguments and submitted their final written addresses.
A report emerged on Monday that the trio of Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso were meeting to discuss the possibility of a coalition to dislodge the APC in the 2027 election in the event that judgement is delivered in favour of the ruling party.
The report claimed that the three leaders had decided to wait and watch the outcome of the election petitions in court, which would determine their next move.
However, the former Anambra State governor charged the contestants under the Labour Party in the Edo local government elections to ensure they fulfil their promises during their campaigns if they succeed.
“Those of you who are contesting, go and tell the people what you will do and whatever you say, if you succeed, do it. No more promise-and-fail. The time for fake promises has passed in this country; we don’t want anybody to promise us fake things now. Anything you promise you must deliver,” he said.