Posted by Iniobong Iwok | 27 June 2018 | 2,970 times
Former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar may be set to pick ex-Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi as his running mate ahead of the 2019 presidential election, sources close to the Turaki of Adamawa revealed to BusinessDay.
Atiku recently announced his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) a party he was a founding member, but left to join an alliance which formed the ruling the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.
However, sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Businessday yesterday that Atiku has settled for the choice of Peter Obi as his running mate, based on Obi’s antecedent and performance while in office as the governor of Anambra state, adding that since the former Vice President has already decided to choose his Chief of staff from the North and his presidential campaign Director General, Gbenga Daniel, who hails from the southwest, it was logical that his running mate should be from the South-east.
The sources said that several names of prominent southeast politicians such as former Finance minister, Okonjo Iweala and the current Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu were considered for the position before Peter Obi was picked.
“Atiku has settled for Peter Obi as his running mate in next year’s presidential election, I can tell you that. You know he has chosen someone from the North as his Chief of Staff and Gbenga Daniel who is his Campaign DG is from the Southwest. It is logical for true representation of the country that his running mate should be from the southeast where he already has so much goodwill and support,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the former vice president will kick-start his campaign for the presidential elections on July 28, sources also revealed.
They hinted that Atiku had only been consulting with stakeholders in the PDP and the country over the last few months over his ambition, adding that it was now obvious that he would clinch the presidential ticket of his party and win the 2019 presidential election with the massive support he has received around the country.
“The flag-off would be July 28, what Atiku has been doing for long now in consultation with stakeholders in the PDP and those that matter in the country on his ambition; and it is now clear that he is the man to beat with the massive support he has received so far across the country. We have more than 1000 Atiku support groups all over the country waiting to campaign for him, so we are ready.”
Paul Ibe, director, Atiku Media Office, responding to the news, said such speculations were bound to trend until the time when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will finally decide on its candidate.
According to Ibe, “It is the responsibility of the former Vice President and the presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to pick whoever he would want to run with. But that time has not come. You can’t jump the gun now and begin to talk about him picking and announcing a running mate. No. Don’t forget that the party also has an input in determining whoever that may run with its presidential candidate at the fullness of time. So, first thing first.”
Peter Obi ruled Anambra state on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) from 17 March 2006 to 2nd November 2006 when he was impeached, and from 9th February 2007 to 29th may 2007.
He was reappointed Governor on 14th June 2007 after a court ruling that he should be allowed to complete a four-year tenure. Obi also won a second term in office which he held from 2010 to 2014.
Obi was noted to have operated a meticulous financial regime in Anambra state, by cutting unnecessary spending and revenue wastage, among other reforms. (BusinessDay)
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