Yemi Osibajo Emerges Buhari’s Running Mate

Former attorney general of Lagos State, Yemi Osibajo, regarded as the preferred candidate of former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, has emerged the running mate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.

A decision was finally reached on Buhari’s running mate late on Tuesday night after days of stalemated negotiations were broken.

On Monday evening in a story titled “Yemi Osibajo To Be Named Buhari’s Running Mate”, the www.icirnigeria.org had reported that Osibajo was likely to be named as Buhari’s running mate but his nomination met with some opposition from some quarters, leading to another round of negotiations.

It was gathered that a powerful clique of governors from outside the South west and a former governor of the party who were rooting for Rotimi Amaechi, governor of River State, had pushed for his candidacy above Osibajo.

This group had argued that it would make sense to run with Amaechi since Buhari would get overwhelming support from the South west, with the likes of Tinubu and the governors from the zone backing him, and that the region where the APC candidate would most need votes would be the South south from where President Goodluck Jonathan hails.

However, Tinubu is said to have eventually succeeded in convincing Buhari and majority of the party leaders that Osibajo would be a better and more strategic choice.

Osibajo, 55, is a senior pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and a close associate of its general overseer, Enoch Adeboye.

The reasoning in the APC is that the nomination of Osibajo, the resident pastor of the Olive Tree parish of the Redeemed Church in Banana Island, Lagos and a well-respected man in the Christian community, would be able to get some votes that would have gone to President Jonathan based on his Christian faith.

It would be the second time Buhari would be running with a cleric, having vied for the presidency in 2011 with Tunde Bakare, lawyer, pastor and founder of the Latter Rain Assembly.






     

     

    It was gathered from insiders that Buhari had conceded the choice of his running mate to Tinubu from the beginning. And, Tinubu had suggested to him three persons including Osibajo, Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola and Olorunimbe Mamora, a former senator.

    It was gathered that Buhari thought that Fashola would have been a perfect choice but was doubtful if a Muslim/Muslim ticket would work. He felt more comfortable with Mamora of the three choices he was given but he was quickly convinced that Mamora probably did not have the political clout to get needed votes, particularly from “fence sitters” who have no preferred party or candidate.

    Sources within the APC told our reporter that the party was putting finishing to the submission of the names of its presidential and vice presidential candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before the end of work on Wednesday.

    Buhari is also expected to make the formal announcement of his running mate at a press conference in Abuja today.

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