- PDP's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is reportedly searching for a running mate ahead of 2019 general elections
- He was said to have shortlisted 5 persons from southwest and southeast
- It was gathered that the age, knowledge of economy would be the key criterion for nomination
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has begun search for his running mate as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deadline for the submission of names of parties’ candidate expires on Monday, October 8.
This Day reports that by the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, no candidature is complete without a running mate.
Legit.ng gathered that the newspaper said that the Atiku camp noted at least three technocrats and two politicians have been penciled down for the position.
The technocrats are, 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), Chike Obi.
It was gathered that the politicians being considered for the number two position are, former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, and the deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
According to This Day, a source said the candidate and the PDP hierarchy are still undecided on the zone the position should be allotted, adding that the scope had been narrowed down to the southwest and the southeast.
“We would have to weigh the electoral value of both zones and decide where we would allot it. 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 southwest 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 southeast 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", the source said.
It was reported that the matter would be trashed out tomorrow, Wednesday, October 10, at a meeting of the presidential candidate with the party hierarchy.
Apart from zoning, Atiku is also said to be considering age and knowledge of the economy and economics as two major criteria for the selection of the running mate.
According to a source, the presidential candidate thinks his running mate has to be a much younger person as a strategy to appeal to the army of youths, which is already up in arms against the old brigade.
Atiku is, however, said to be insisting that such a young man must also have deep knowledge of the economy as his focus is on the revival of the economy to create jobs for the teaming unemployed population.
“His challenge, therefore, is how to strike the balance between getting a youthful running mate and an economy savvy candidate. Both must be rolled into one,” a source said, explain that this might have informed the short list that was revealed to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a pro-President Muhammadu Buhari group, Re-elect Buhari Movement (RBM), said the emergence of former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 general election is the strongest indication that the president would win the election on a platter of gold.
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