2023: Labour can’t win without merger, says Okupe, emerges Obi’s running mate

Doyin Okupe

By Emmanuel Babafemi

A former presidential spokesperson under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan government, Dr Doyin Okupe, has emerged as the running mate to Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

Okupe, however, said until the Labour Party can perfect a merger arrangement with other parties, PP cannot say that the race is won.

Okupe, the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Organization, stated this after he personally announce his choice as a vice presidential nominee to Obi on the Channels TV programme, “Politics Today” on Friday, June 17, 2022.

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Disclosing further the party’s winning plans for the 2023 general elections, Okupe said that the LP is putting together the “biggest” and “greatest” political coalition in Nigerian history, as he noted that the party alone cannot win the race without working with others.

Okupe said the only winning formula was for the Labour Party to work with several other parties to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and beat the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I am not a dreamer, Labour Party alone cannot achieve this success that we are looking at, we need the NPP, we need the Social Democratic Party, we need the PRP, we need the Labour Congress, we need everybody,” Dr Okupe said on Channels TV.

Okupe, speaking further on his emergence as the running mate to Obi, said with his emergence, the party has beaten the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for parties to submit names of their vice presidential nominees.

Still, Okupe informed that the third force is alive and forming, and in a bid to ensure that every part of the coalition is satisfied, for this, he would be standing in as Vice Presidential candidate.

“The choosing of the Vice Presidential candidate is a process, an electoral process and it does not stop until the schedule ends,” Okupe said.

But, being from the same Southern region as his party’s presidential candidate, Obi, it has been speculated that Okupe’s choice is the possibility to stand as a “placeholder” to beat INEC’s deadline pending the time a substantive running mate will later emerge.