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Politics Updated: May 22, 2024

Osuntokun, former LP campaign DG reveals what will make Obi return to PDP

By TIMOTHY TIMILEHIN ENIETAN-MATTHEWS
May 22, 2024
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A former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, on Tuesday, said the only condition that can make the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, consider returning to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is if he will be given the presidential ticket.

It will be recalled that former Vice President and candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, had recently said that if in 2027, the party decided that it is the South-East’s turn and picked Obi as its candidate, he would readily offer his support.

“I have said repeatedly and I even said it before the 2023 general elections that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it. As long as it’s the decision of the party, I will abide by it. But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was thrown open to all members of the party.

“If the party decides that it’s the turn of the South-East and Peter Obi is chosen, I won’t hesitate to support him,” Atiku declared in a recent interview with BBC Hausa Service.

He also said that a merger between the PDP and Labour Party is possible.

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Reacting to the development, Osuntokun said that with Obi’s large support base in the last general elections, the only chance of him accepting to join the PDP is if he would be offered the party’s presidential ticket.

He said: “Peter Obi going back to the PDP would have to depend on the circumstances and the assurances from the political godfathers of the PDP. The thing is that it’s unrealistic to expect someone who has run for the president to now accept to be a running mate for whoever assumes the superior position.

“That’s because Obi has a unique political appeal among Nigerians. If it’s possible to do it like the way they do in the United States by analyzing the demographic groups that support each candidate, we would find a situation in which Obi carried about 90 per cent of the youth population. And if he chooses to be a running mate, those people are going to be disappointed and offended.

“The only way that Peter Obi could consider returning to the PDP is if he would be given the party’s presidential ticket. Otherwise, he would not embark on a futile exercise. Because if he becomes a running mate in PDP, he will lose a lot of his support. He would be demonized as a sellout.

“So I can’t see the point of his going back to the PDP other than being its presidential candidate.”

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