Who Becomes Atiku’s Running Mate?
Nigeria News takes a look at the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate and the search for a running mate.
After he has emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is not resting on his oars as he begins to search for a running mate who can help him realise his ambition.
In this political permutation, a quality running mate will go a long way in breaking the All Progressives Congress supremacy in the 2019 general election.
Contesting against President Muhammadu Buhari and his running mate Professor Yemi Osinbajo will require a sophisticated ideology from the Peoples Democratic Party. One of this is getting a strong running mate for Atiku who will be facing serious image and integrity issues in the next few days.
The All Progressives Congress has congratulated the PDP for a successful primary election, which produced Atiku, adding that it would be waiting for the opposition at the campaign ground.
Though the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole had called for an issue-based campaign, hitting the personality of Atiku and Buhari might not be totally erased.
It is expected that hate speeches will find its way into the campaign ground, no matter how but before then what is germane to Atiku is working with a strong running mate.
Atiku, like Buhari, lacks the oratory power to convince the electorate. But Buhari has the luck of running with an intellectual, Osinbajo who is from the southwestern region of the country.
As it is, Atiku’s hope of working with the southwest is slim in that the present PDP has its stronghold in the southeast and south-south region.
There have been insinuations that for Atiku to break the APC dominance, such personality like the former Minister of Finance, Dr Okonjo-Iweala could be used as his running mate.
Besides the fact that Okonjo-Iwela is also an intellectual and economist of repute, the partnership will strengthen PDP not only in the southeast but in some part of the southwest, especially, Lagos State where most electorates are liberal.
The Governor of Cross River, Nyesom Wike is also strong in the south-south and could be another option for Atiku. Another good personality in the southeast is the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi.
While Atiku will still have to do a lot of work in the north, he must remember that the southwest has always played the pivotal role in the election of Nigerian president.
No doubt the emergence of Atiku, has shown that the PDP is serious in wrestling power from the floundering APC government come February 2019. Picking a Fulani man, a man with vast structure and huge political network and net worth would undoubtedly be causing jitters in the corridors of power as it is trite that Atiku remains the only one who can pull the rug from under Buhari’s feet despite allegations of corruption.
Atiku’s alleged filthy past was fittingly pitted with Buhari, the spotless. The minds of Nigerians are being invaded already, even though both parties are yet to flag off the real campaign.
The battle next February could, therefore, be considered as the battle of values. Beyond being a battle of one Fulani against the other, it is a battle for the grit, the nerve and the emotion of Nigerians. It is a battle where scant attention would be put on party manifesto or issues, but one for the heart of Nigerians.