2019 Presidency: Gbenga Daniel tipped to emerge Atiku’s running mate

Posted by News Express | 12 October 2018 | 4,187 times

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•Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Except in the event of a last-minute change of calculations, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, will emerge as the running mate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate for the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Information reaching News Express has it that the search narrowed down to OGD – as he is fondly called – following consultations on the issue by Atiku, which climaxed with his meeting on Thursday with former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, at his Presidential Library Complex in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Obasanjo, under whom Atiku served as Vice President from 1999 until the two fell apart, publicly forgave Atiku at the event and endorsed him, addressing him as Nigeria’s next President. He declared that Atiku is better than incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and would perform better as the country’s leader.

The camp of Otunba Daniel, who currently functions as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, maintained sealed lips when News Express contacted it in the wee hours of today. News Express had in a story early this morning exclusively reported that Yoruba (South-West) leaders have been meeting to produce a running mate for Atiku. OGD was named as one of those shortlisted.

Asked why Atiku has not yet announced his running mate, a campaign spokesman said: “He is still consulting. He needs to reach out and get full endorsement of various stakeholders to do that.”

Expectations had been rife that the position of Atiku’s running mate would go the South-which is fanatically PDP, rather than the South-West, where the party does not control any state. However, South-West PDP chieftains such as outgoing Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose had threatened serious repercussions if the position was not zoned to the region. Obasanjo is also said to have predicated his support for Atiku on the ceding of the Vice President slot to the South-West.

The thinking among those canvassing this position is that with a South-West running mate, Atiku and PDP would slit the region’s vote with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which is retaining the ticket of Buhari (North-West) and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (South-West).

 The belief is that the South-East will not possibly vote for Buhari and APC in view of their perceived marginalistaion of the region and rejection of restructuring – the current mantra in the South-East.  

Source: News Express

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