By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
All Progressives Cong-ress, APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is in a dilemma over the choice of a running mate for the forthcoming presidential contest. Buhari’s dilemma was said to have been accentuated by the rise in his ratings after the largely successful convention which has raised the prospects of a possible APC led Federal Government thus attracting many more interests into the choice of a running mate.
Basking in the euphoria of a largely successful nomination convention, party elders, hours after the convention Thursday night, went into a meeting in an undisclosed location in Victoria Island, Lagos with the issue top on the agenda. Buhari, it was learnt, was at the meeting but no conclusion was arrived at.
Many interests, Saturday Vanguard learned, had emerged to stake a claim for the position or the right to propose the vice-presidential candidate. Among them are a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who had a principal role in swinging victory towards Buhari at the convention ground. The Tinubu camp is seriously being challenged by the camp of the governors who are insisting on pushing one of their own or determining who gets the job. Meetings were held yesterday in Lagos by party stakeholders who remained in Lagos after the convention to project their interests on the issue.
A meeting of major stakeholders has been scheduled for today in Abuja still on the issue.
An APC governor who spoke on the issue yesterday said the decision would have to reflect geopolitical considerations in line with the resolution of the party that party tickets at all levels should reflect ethno-religious balancing.
It was learned that the earlier assumption that the choice of a running mate be restricted to the Southwest was seriously being re-examined with the South-South now being considered.
Among the persons under consideration from the Southwest were Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora, former commissioner of justice in Lagos State, Prof. Yemi Osibajo and former Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Governor Babatunde Fashola who is a popular choice among many stakeholders, is however, challenged by a resolution of the party on ethno-religious balancing of the party ticket. Stakeholders pushing for the Southwest are saying that a candidate from the region would galvanise the people of the region to fully come out in support of the party during the election. That argument is also said to be re-energizing the prospect of Governor Fashola with some saying that the Southwest is unmindful of religion in the determination of political office holders.
Governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State were the two persons being mentioned by stakeholders, multiple sources said yesterday. The projection it was learned was based on the idea of giving their South-South region reason not to see that they have totally lost out in voting out their son, President Goodluck Jonathan who is the candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Faced with the conflicting desires, the party was at the weekend still said to be undecided on the choice of a running mate and sources said a choice may not be made until the middle of next week.