Atiku, Obi alliance creates turmoil within APC

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The renewed talks of an alliance or merger between the 2023 presidential candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, have raised concerns among some leaders of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2027 election cycle.

Atiku and Obi’s 2023 Performance

Recall that Atiku and Obi, who ran together on the PDP platform in 2019, went their separate ways in 2022, a move that many analysts believed paved the way for the APC’s victory in the 2023 presidential election. While they could not unseat then-President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, their combined vote of 13,086,053 in 2023 was more than the winning vote of Bola Tinubu of the APC, who got 8,794,726 votes.

Potential Impact of Atiku-Obi Alliance

The recent developments have led political analysts and politicians across divides to believe that if the talks of an alliance or merger pushed by Atiku and the Professor Pat Utomi-led National Consultative Front (NCFront) materialize before the 2027 presidential election, with Obi on board, the APC may face a stronger challenge.

Atiku’s Moves and Obi’s Visits

Atiku, who has been advocating for a coalition of opposition parties, received several political heavyweights as visitors in Abuja last week. Obi’s visit to Atiku on Monday, followed by his meetings with PDP leaders Bukola Saraki and Sule Lamido, has further fueled speculation about the potential alliance.

APC’s Concerns and Challenges

Several APC chieftains expressed concerns about the alliance talks, especially in light of the country’s precarious economic situation and the party’s declining popularity. Some also mentioned disenchantment among Northern leaders with the current administration and the party’s neglect of women leaders after the 2023 elections.

Former APC Chair’s Perspective

However, a former acting National Chairman of the APC, Hilliard Eta, dismissed the concerns, stating that there was nothing new about Obi, Atiku, and others meeting, as it was a PDP meeting that had always been like that. He welcomed the potential alliance, saying it would provide a “virile, responsive and responsible opposition” if they could do so.

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