People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar has picked former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, as his running mate.
This came after a list of possible candidates: former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo; former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina; and former Managing Director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Chike Obi; the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and Obi were pencilled down.
The former governor visited Abubakar’s residence in Asokoro neighbourhood and afterwards, a statement was issued by the director-general of the presidential campaign organisation, Gbenga Daniel, saying Obi’s choice was largely influenced by his youthfulness, vast knowledge of global and local economics as well as being a financial expert, “all the experience which Nigeria is in great need of at this point in time.”
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere through its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin in a short statement urged both Atiku and Obi to remain steadfast in restructuring the country.
The statement read: “All we concerned about at this stage is there were commitments by Atiku about the restructuring of Nigeria.
“If it is true that he has picked Peter Obi as his running mate, he should join him to work out clear-cut programmes on restructuring and ensure that ensure that he remains steadfast on that because that is the main issue that will determine the next election.”
Also, elder statesman and chairman of the Northern Elders’ Council (NEC), Tanko Yakasai described Atiku’s choice as a balanced one owing to the fact that Obi is a Christian and from the South-East.
A statement read, “It was expected all along that the slot of the Vice President should go to the South East for the PDP as APC has chosen the South West.
“What is not ascertained is whether the choice of Peter Obi is the collective choice of the majority of the people of the South East.
“Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi ticket is a very good one. Atiku Abubakar is a Muslim from the North while Peter Obi is a Christian from the South just as Muhammadu Buhari is a Muslim from the North and Yemi Osinbajo is a Christian from the South. Everything is balanced.”
Peter Obi, in a Twitter account he only recently opened said, “I want to thank Waziri Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku, for choosing me as his running mate. This is a privilege I will not take lightly. We will work closely together to boost the economy and provide Jobs. Our administration will be far away from anything called “lifeless”.
“I want to assure the President-to-be Alhaji Atiku, that I am physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the task ahead to get Nigeria working again. It is time we returned power to the people.”