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2015: How Atiku’s running mate may emerge

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA–Even though he is yet to win the Presidential ticket of All Progressive Congress, APC, for the 2015 election, the camp of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has started considering one out of some notable Nigerians as a running mate.

It will be recalled that every attempt to reach consensus between the four presidential aspirants which included former Head of State, Gen. Mohammed Buhari, Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso and the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah failed.

A source from the national secretariat of APC told Vanguard that the matter also failed to fly when it was presented before the National Working Committee, NWC and National Executive Committee, NEC of the party.

Former Vice President and presidential aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar
Former Vice President and presidential aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar

Consequently, the party last week set up a national convention committee to be headed by the erstwhile Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi

Slated to hold December 10, 2014, the Convention’s aim was to organize presidential primaries.

But ahead of the exercise, former Vice President Atiku was not worried over his emergence as the party’s presidential flag bearer in the elections.

His media aide, Alhaji Garba Shehu told Vanguard that they were hoping to win 60% of the delegates votes.

However, what is Atiku’s worry now is how to choose a running mate.

This has thrown a lot of considerations anchored  basically on three factors.

The factors included political balance, religious balance and competence balance.

The factor of political balance presupposes the critical issue of North/South.

The religious balance becomes very necessary against the mooted Mslim/Muslim ticket

Atiku being a Muslim would naturally go for a Christian deputy.

Compentece was also a veritable factor to be consideration.

Following the political balance, the former Vice President could put one of four APC governors as his running mate namely Rochas Okorocha of Imo (South-East); Babatunde Fashola of Lagos (South-West); Adams Oshiomhole (South-South) and Rotimi Amaechi also of the South-South.

The option is expected to appease sitting governors of the party.

In the case of Governor Okorocha, it is feared that this would have limited political value as it would likely not attract enough votes from the South-East.

Babatunde Fashola is believed to be a huge asset as he would pull massive votes from the South-West.

But the problem of this choice, however, is the Muslim-Muslim ticket that Nigerians might not support.

In the case of  governors Oshiomhole, Ameachi and Okoroach, it is feared that outside their states, there may not be any other votes from them.

To seal the deal, Atiku is likely to rely on the nominee of the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, who is likely to be Mr. Wale Edun.

Mr. Wale Edun is is a key member of the Tinubu group.

Now, to strike a religious balance, Vanguard gathered that Atiku might choose one of three persons namely Professor Yemi Osibajo, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora.

Professor Osibajo is close to the Tinubu group. He is a serving Pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and a close associate of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the RCCG. It is believed that many Christians will support this choice.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the APC Convention Planning Committee is a force to reckon with.

Senator Mamora is expected to pull more votes using his connections nationwide.

When contacted, Alhaji Shehu, media aide to the presidential aspirant however said that the issue of running is secondary as all efforrt of his boss at the moment was to grab the party’s presidential ticket.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.