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2015: Atiku works out variables for running mate

By Emmanuel Aziken
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar may have listed three variables in deciding a running mate should he pick the party’s ticket in the forthcoming primaries.

The three parameters, a source in the Atiku Campaign said, would be political balance, religious balance and competence balance.
Based on the three factors, the Atiku Campaign is believed to be considering the personality to fit in as a working partner for its principal should he emerge the candidate. The Atiku Campaign, remarkably, is not considering financial capacity given the general assumption of the former VP’s deep pockets.

According to a working document cited by the source, consideration of the political balance would essentially revolve around the North/South divide.
The major personalities under consideration using the framework, as it was learned, are three second term governors and one first term governor: Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos (South-West); Adams Oshiomhole (South-South) and Rotimi Amaechi also of the South-South and the only first term governor and South-easterner, Rochas Okorocha of IMO State.

This factor is being projected to win the support of the governors and is especially critical, given Atiku’s unending tours and meetings with the party’s governors.
However, consideration of Fashola is said to be seriously mitigated by the religious factor given the unwillingness of most Nigerians to consider a ticket that is not balanced between a Christian and a Muslim.

Okorocha is also said to be disadvantaged by the seeming inability to bring Igbo votes.

Another variable under the political component is the Asiwaju factor arising from speculations of the determination of Atiku to reach a deal with party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Part of the deal could mean allowing the former Lagos State governor to nominate the running mate.

Among those who could fit in from Tinubu’s camp are said to be Mr. Wale Edun and Prof Yemi Osibajo who also fall into the competence factor. Both men served in the Tinubu administration and are generally praised for their brilliance.

Two other respected names said to be under the radar are the former governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora. Both men are said to be under consideration based on the respect they had while in office.

Contacted last night, Atiku’s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said he had not seen the report but asserted the determination of his boss to work with whoever the party presents.


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