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Real Reasons Atiku Picked Peter Obi As Running Mate



The search for a running mate for the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was a source of headache for the party before it eventually settled for a former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi last week.

The party did this to beat the Monday deadline of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the submission of names of parties’ candidates.

By the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, no candidature is complete without a running mate.

Sources close to the Atiku camp said notable technocrats and two politicians had been penciled down for the position.

The technocrats that were penciled down included, former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo; former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; and former Managing Director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Chike Obi.

The politicians considered for the number two position are, former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

According to a source, “we would have to weigh the electoral value of both zones and decide where we would allot it,” the source said, explaining that there was the need to maintain a balance between the existing political configuration, which requires the party to challenge the dominance of the APC in the high voting South-west by picking a running mate that would challenge the electoral advantage of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and the need to retain the loyalty of the South-east that had remained a PDP stronghold.

Both zones were believed to have helped Atiku to neutralise the Northern zones’ delegates’ votes that went to Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal during the presidential primary on Saturday.

It was revealed that Atiku decided to go for Peter Obi as he sees him as a strategy to appeal to the army of youths, which is already up in arms against the old brigade.

We were reliably informed that the leaders of the party wanted to played safe to ensure that the choice of a running mate for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would not divide the party.

The calculations, we gathered is that choosing someone from the South East or South South would further help the fortune of the party in the two regions so that it could have enough votes from the areas.

However, we were told that some opinion leaders within the party believe that choosing a candidate from the South West would be more preferable as the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be presenting Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who is from the zone.

Apart from that, they reasoned that the APC has a grip of the South West and that choosing a Yoruba man as the running mate of Atiku would help the party get votes in the zone.

But we were told that the party leaders felt that Peter Obi was the best bet for it in the election, adding that someone from the South East would compensate for the support the Ibos have been giving to the PDP over the years.

Those close to Atiku and his strategist revealed he had been watching Peter Obi for sometime now and he decided to make use of him based on his loyalty and support.

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