Yemi Osibajo To Be Named Buhari’s Running Mate

Former attorney general of Lagos State during the Bola Tinubu administration, Yemi Osibajo, is likely to be announced as running mate to the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in a few hours.

A source at the on-going meeting in Abuja by top APC chieftains who are deliberating on Buhari’s running mate said Osibajo has emerged as the preferred candidate of the South west which was given the choice of choosing the party’s vice presidential candidate.

Barring any last minute changes, Osibajo’s name is to be announced in the next few hours, www.icirnigeria.org reliably gathered,

The contenders for the party’s vice presidential candidate were narrowed down on Monday to Osibajo, Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola and Olorunimbe Mamora.

By this evening, the source said, it had been agreed that, all things considered, Osibajo would be the party’s vice presidential candidate.

Osibajo’s emergence is believed to have been because he is former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu’s candidate. However, a major factor that worked for him, at least when the contest was narrowed down to just him and Fashola, is the fact that he is a Christian.

It was gathered that most APC chieftains believed that Fashola would have been the perfect choice to be Buhari’s running mate, but it was considered that the mood of the nation did not permit a Muslim/Muslim ticket at this time. Buhari himself would have preferred Fashola and might have hinted the Lagos governor about this.

The APC candidate’s second choice as running mate, it was learnt, was Mamora. First, the former senator had worked with the former head of state before and was deputy director general of his presidential campaign organisation.

‘General Buhari felt very comfortable too with Mamora because he has worked with us for a while and he respects him as an honest, gentleman that can be trusted,” our source said.

However, the final choice of Buhari’s running mate rested with Tinubu and after all the deliberation, he argued for Osibajo who is now to be announced as the APC vice presidential candidate.

Insiders confirmed that the choice of Buhari’s running mate rested with the former Lagos State governor from the beginning, confirming earlier reports that Buhari had ceded that responsibility to Tinubu.

A chieftain of the APC who does not want to be named said that it was only fair that Tinubu be allowed to pick Buhari’s running mate, reasoning that “the APC alliance is really an alliance between Buhari and Tinubu.”

This chieftain, however, adds that “to be fair to Tinubu, he actually argued his position and was able to convince and carry along the South west leaders to settle for Osibajo.

Continuing, the chieftain said that “Osibajo, in that sense, is actually the preferred candidate of the South west not Tinubu.”

Other early contenders in the race for Buhari’s running mate were the River State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and his Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, who contested the APC presidential primaries.






     

     

    However, while Okorocha was easily dropped, Amaechi, it was gathered, was in hot contention, at a point.

    Some leaders of the APC had felt that an Amaechi as Buhari’s running mate would have been a strategic move to divide the votes that President Goodluck Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate would obtain from that region.

    However, others reasoned that Amaechi could not get any block votes from the South south where the President comes from.

    Amaechi, it was reliably gathered, is perhaps the biggest financial contributor to Buhari’s emergence as the APC’s presidential candidate. However, at the end of the day, he did not make it because, as one APC leader put it “we know that he cannot match Jonathan dollar for dollar.”

     

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