2027 Presidency: Why LP’s Peter Obi May Return to PDP

  • Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the 2023 general elections under the Labour Party (LP), has less than four years to perfect his plans to get to Nigeria’s seat of power in 2027
  • Obi, who was, by many standards, a formidable force and threat to some of his rivals in the last election like Atiku Abubakar and President Tinubu, may have to weigh certain crucial options moving forward
  • Two among these options stand out – returning to the PDP to better his chances or staying with the LP and strengthening its base nationally ahead of the 2027 presidential race

For Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s standard bearer in the 2023 presidential election, as well as candidates of other political platforms, the verdict of the Supreme Court in Nigeria on Thursday, October 26, 2023, affirming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory put to rest all agitations and appeals against the conduct of the poll, the results and all the issues that surrounded it.

What Obi now has in his hands is the issue of charting a political course that will land him in Aso Rock as the next president of Nigeria come 2027. To do this, the former Anambra governor has two immediate possibilities staring him in the face.

He might have to consider heading back to his former base, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and use its nationwide presence to his advantage or stay put with the LP and forge a stronghold that will not just replicate the force it put out in the last poll, but possibly unseat the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a second attempt.

But each of these possibilities comes with huge prices and tasks dangling for this prominent southeast politician which this writeup seeks to highlight.

2027 Presidency: Concerns over Obi’s Possible Return to PDP

Quite significantly, the state of things is not so enticing in the PDP for Obi, should he decide to return to the opposition platform. This is as he will have to deal with much internal rivalry coming in the form of anti-party activities from some bigwigs of the party. To put things in perspective here, it is crucial to state that Obi will have to face heavyweights like the minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, in the PDP. In fact, Tinubu, after the poll, in May 2023 expressed gratitude to Wike and Rivers state for contributing to his victory. Tinubu was quoted to have stated:

“Nyesom, I say thank-you for your contribution to my victory. I couldn’t have done it without some structural support. I will never forget the pivotal role the great and wonderful people of this state played in my victorious campaign to become the next president of this country. You have my eternal gratitude…”

Other members of the PDP G-5, Governor Seyi Makinde, Okezie Ikpeazu, Samuel Ortom and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi might also prove very difficult to convince to work with Obi ahead of the 2023 poll, given their unyielding affiliation, if not loyalty, to Wike.

Of course, all of these factors are apart from the biggest hurdle Obi will have to face in PDP: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has indicated interest in the 2027 presidential contest already. Having lost two elections to former President Muhammadu Buhari and one to his successor, Tinubu, Atiku is ready to confront any rival from within the PDP with all his political arsenals. Thus, if Obi returns to the PDP, attempting to defeat Atiku at the party’s primaries might be a tall dream at worst or a battle almost as fierce as the presidential poll itself in 2027 at best.

Read more about Peter Obi’s political future:

2023 Presidency: What is in Labour Party for Obi?

Back home in the LP, the outlook is not so rosy for Obi either. To start with, giving the N3bn campaign fund scandal linked to its national chairman, Julius Abure, the party seems to be losing face with many Obidients whose massive support across the country shook the APC to its very foundation during the last presidential poll.

Added to this is the dissenting, factionist mode the LP went into not long after the 2023 general polls which is posing a direct threat to Obi’s political ambition. In October 2023, the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the LP went as far as questioning Obi’s academic records. Abayomi Arabambi, the national publicity secretary of the faction, has claimed that there is a discrepancy in the credentials submitted to the party by Obi. In a statement, Arabambi alleged:

“I was part of the people who did the screening for him. In the form EC9, we gave him, he wrote that he attended the University of Nigeria Nsukka and he wrote that he finished his youth service but unfortunately, in the final submission of the form he only submitted his school certificate.”

Moreover, the internal wrangling bedevilling the LP has had a toll on its ability to widen its base in the national, political space. The burden of this disadvantage waits for Obi to carry if he chooses to remain loyal to a party that rallied around him before and during the last election.

However, while it may appear that Obi is faced with a terrible dilemma, one must take into cognisance the fact that time means a lot in politics. So much can happen in less than four years – some alignments here and re-alignments there which can potentially work in Obi’s favour whichever route he may plan to take ahead of 2027.

2027 Presidency: Top LP Member Suggests Winning Strategies Obi Can Adopt

In an exclusive comment on Thursday, March 7, the national coordinator of Isoko Obidients Movement, Omenuwoma Josiah, spoke on Obi’s political future:

“Mr Peter Obi political future is bright & his chances of becoming President of the federal Republic of Nigeria is high…Despite the fact that Mr Peter Obi political future is bright, there certain things he must quickly do & put in place ahead of 2027.

1) To build a good & string structure for his political party the Labour Party across the Wards, Local Govt Areas & States with focus in the Northern part of Nigeria, Party Congress that will usher in capable Excos to work with the National Chairman will be good.

2) Look for ways to make Principals & active members of the support groups (Obidients) across the 36 states & FCT to be members of the Labour Party because the various support groups & ordinarily Nigerians were his structure in 2023 & not really Labour Party

3) Be a voice of the People & give hope to many Nigerians that are losing hope in Nigeria & the election process daily by constructively criticizing the current failing Federal Govt (suggesting solutions to the problems of Nigerians) & play a strong & constructive opposition.

4) consolidate on the wave he pulled in 2023 by always interacting with the youths that made major sacrifices for his 2023 campaign, it will be good for him to physical meetings with them.

5) He should work on the possibility of a merger among other opposition parties, it will make his chances brighter with him as the candidate of the merger party.”

“I Did Not Defect From APC “: Peter Obi’s ally, Okonkwo Explains How He Joined LP

A former spokesperson of the Labour Party, Kenneth Okonkwo, has argued that he didn’t defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Okonkwo said he resigned from the ruling APC before joining the Labour Party.

Source: TheTalk.NG

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