By Chukwudi Nweje
Ahead of Monday, May 30 national convention and presidential primary of the Labour Party where renowned economist and former presidential adviser, Prof Pat Utomi and former governor of Anambra State and ex presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi are expected to go head to head for the party’s presidential ticket, the 3rd Force Movement under the umbrella of the National Consultative Front, (NCFront), on Sunday called on Nigerians to join hands with Labour Party in crystalizing the 3rd force movement as the alternative ‘Big Tent’ for the 2023 elections.
NCFront played major role in rallying about seven political parties, organised labour unions as well as civil society organisations and market unions to adopt Labour Party as their preferred political platform to use in dislodging the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from power.
In a sentence signed by Dr Tanko Yunusa, Head of Public Affairs of the NCFront, the group commended the synergy between its two leading presidential aspirants, Mr Obi and Prof Utomi and noted that the unity of purpose is nothing like the ‘cash and carry’ party primaries of the APC and PDP.
He said both the ruling arty and major opposition are co partners in the corruptive and criminal politics that destroyed Nigeria.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately go after the candidates and delegates of the APC and PDP for destroying Nigeria’s electoral system and moral fabric.
Both Utomi and Obi are reform advocates who believe that Nigeria’s politics should move in a different direction.
Utomi is co-convaner of the National Consultative Front, (NCFront), which in the past over 15 months, has been consulting with about seven other political parties, organised labour and associations towards birthing a Third Force political party to challenge the APC and the PDP during the general election in 2023.
Obi on the other hand has consistently preached against money politics.
He formally joined Labour Party on May 27, after he withdrew as a PDP presidential aspirant and also resigned his membership of the PDP.
NCFront said it embraced the Labour Party because of its non partisan strategic nature, as a people’s cantered, pan Nigerian political platform that can inclusively serve the interests of all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious and social inclinations; in uniting the country towards a momentous development that can accommodate and serve the diversities of Nigeria.”
On why the Labour Party opted to put Utomi and Obi through a primary rather than settle for consensus, Dr Yunusa, a former presidential candidate on the platform of the National Conscience Party (NCP) said the party believes in democracy and that members will choose their preferred candidate at the convention.
“The conventions is slated for 30th of May in Delta State. Prof Pat Utomi and Peter Obi are credible candidates. The will of the party members will prevail at the convention”, he said.