Opposition Merger Talks Led by Atiku and Utomi Unlikely to Succeed, Says Osita Okechukwu

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By Daniel Edu

Osita Okechukwu, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has poured cold water on recent calls from certain opposition figures for a coalition aimed at unseating the ruling party in 2027.

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the 2023 presidential election, has been vocal about the need for opposition parties to unite to form a formidable coalition.

Similarly, Pat Utomi of the Labour Party (LP) has hinted at ongoing discussions regarding a potential merger among opposition parties.

However, Okechukwu, in a statement released on Sunday, dismissed these calls and the underlying assumptions behind them.

He argued that the circumstances necessary for opposition parties to form a strong coalition to challenge the APC are significantly different from those that led to the defeat of the PDP in 2015.

Okechukwu emphasized that removing an incumbent president should not be treated lightly but should stem from a genuine desire to replace an underperforming administration.

He pointed out the stark contrast in Nigeria’s socioeconomic situation between 2015 and 2024, noting that despite current hardships, there is widespread acknowledgment, both domestically and internationally, of President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s vision and focus.

While acknowledging Atiku’s reference to the prevailing economic difficulties, Okechukwu highlighted what he sees as President Tinubu’s demonstrated focus and the confidence he has garnered from the international community through his economic reforms.

Okechukwu suggested that since all leading presidential candidates in 2023 espouse neoliberal economic ideologies, they should support President Tinubu’s economic reforms, which align with their beliefs.

He also urged Atiku, Utomi, and others to articulate the economic philosophy underpinning their proposed coalition to win over Nigerians.

Okechukwu drew parallels with the Senegalese opposition, particularly citing the formation of the Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) party by Ousmane Sonko and Bassirou Faye, emphasizing the youthful energy and grassroots appeal of such movements.

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