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Why Peter Obi And Kwankwaso ‘Merger’ May Not Work By Bagbansoro Uthman Olamilekan

Information has surfaced online that the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate Peter Obi And New Nigeria Peoples Party NNPP, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso are planning a merger.

The NNPP on their official Twitter page had confirmed the Possibility of a merger between the two candidates and party.

The NNPP tweeted, “We wish to inform Nigerians that, our discussions with @PeterObi and the #LabourParty are still ongoing.

“Special committee was set to discuss arrangements.

“We hope for good results that will give Nigeria a chance to be alive, once again.”

Also, Doyin Okupe, who is also the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential campaign, said he is standing in for the VP position so that LP can meet up with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s deadline for the submission of the name of a vice-presidential candidate which ends on Friday, June 17, 2022.

“Dear supporters of Peter obi, & all OBIdient members of the Obi movement, I had to take the VP slot to meet up wt d Inec deadline & not to predijuce d status of d emerging grand coalition we are putting together.shortly when d 3rd force is done,new arrangement ‘ll b substituted,” he tweeted.

While the Parties and the candidates are considering a merger, The Newly signed Electoral Amendment Bill might frustrate the candidates efforts.

Section 82 of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides as follows; (1) Every political party shall give the commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of merger and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act.

(2) The commission may, with or without prior notice to the political party attend and observe any convention, congress, conference or meeting which is convened by a political party for the purpose of a) electing members of the executive committee or other governing bodies; b) nominating candidates for an election or any level; c) approving a merger with any other registered political party.

In essence, the time frame for the proposed merger of the two political parties for the 2023 general has failed unless the merging parties wouldn’t nominate candidates for the election.

This is because the timeframe for Primaries and Nomination of candidates at all levels has elapsed.

By virtue of Section 31 of the 2022 Electoral Act, the only way somebody can be replaced in any form is through withdrawal by an individual or death.

For the merger to work, Either of the two candidates would have to withdraw and emerge as the Vice Presidential Candidate under either of the party, but this may likely affect the chances of the Political parties candidates for other offices.

Bagbansoro Uthman Olamilekan
[email protected]
Twitter: @TheBagbansoro

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