The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, may name his running mate today, Wednesday, being the final day the party has to submit a VP nomination to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, told journalists at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, Tuesday, that Buhari would announce his choice today.
There has been high-wire politicking within the party since Monday. The inability of a national leader and former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu to pick a candidate from those shortlisted from the Southwest was said to be the reason the responsibility shifted to Buhari himself. Even at that, Buhari is likely to pick from among Tinubu’s favourites, particularly a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Professor Yemi Osibajo. Osibajo, a former teacher and professor of Law, is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and enjoys a robust relationship with the Pentecostal church’s General Overseer, Enoch Adejare Adeboye.
Aside Osibajo, two other candidates put forward by Tinubu were former Governors of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi and Niyi Adebayo. Another candidate believed to have been shortlisted and favoured by former President Olusegun Obasanjo is former Osun State Governor and ex-Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Newsbreak.NG yesterday reported that Edo and Rivers States’ Governors, Adam Oshiomole and Rotimi Amaechi are ruled out of the pack because they come from the same zone as Oyegun. APC has an pre-merger arrangement which zones the presidential and vice-presidential slots to the northwest and southwest, where the party derives a considerably huge voting strength.
Our Earlier Story On Amaechi's, Oshiomole's Exclusion
Newsbreak.NG can authoritatively confirm that neither Governor Adam Oshiomole of Edo State nor his Rivers’ counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi, is being considered as running mate to the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, this negates a whiff of speculation, which emanated Friday, that Oshiomole was the odds-on favourite for the slot, based on the allegation that an influential APC National Leader and former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu was not auspiciously disposed to Amaechi.
A top party source clarified to Newsbreak.NG that Oshiomole and Amaechi are not eligible for the position because they come from the Southsouth zone as the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun.
The source stressed that the party is bound by its zoning arrangement for key political offices. With the presidential candidate coming from the north, party chairman, South-south, it becomes a natural right for either the southwest or the southeast to pick the vice presidential slot. Moreover the southwest is opportune to make the pick based on its strength, with four governors, in the party.
“It is really more of case of fairness and equity to all stakeholders of the party. People are just speculating, but the reality is different far from that,” the source.
Prodded to speak more, our source said Buhari had asked that a seven-man committee be set up to look into the matter and pick a VP candidate for the party.
Though ex-Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and a former Lagos Attorney General, Professor Yemi Osibajo, are two names that have featured prominently on the list of potential candidates from the Southwest, Newsbreak.NG learnt another former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo has been added.
Our source said the APC would announce the its VP candidate on Wednesday.