Meet Any Of The Four Men Likely To Become General Buhari’s Running Mate In 2015 Nigerian Elections, Having emerged victorious at the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress,APC, in line with pre-convention predictions, the question of who becomes the running mate of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) is on the front burner.
Earlier the matter had attracted so much controversy following statements by Buhari, suggesting that he was not indisposed to the possibility of picking a Muslim as his running mate. ”I have not absolutely closed my mind to picking a Christian or Muslim as running mate if I get the ticket. Because I firmly believe that Nigerians, having gone through what they have gone through, realise it is not a matter of religion, but a matter of Nigeria. And the main religions, Christianity and Islam, they know and they believe in the almighty God. The question of stealing and short-changing people in the name of religion should stop. This new phenomenon of religion is another blackmail political confusionists in Nigeria are bringing to the fore,” he said.
Even though his stance was backed with the June 12 presidential election scenario, when Chief Moshood Abiola and his vice-presidential candidate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, won on same fate ticket, the heaven was literally let loose, as many objected to the possibility of that. With that level of controversy, indicating a general rejection of a possible Muslim-Muslim ticket, it became obvious that aside religion, ethnicity would be key in deciding the matter.
Before now, names that had been touted as likely running mates include; Lagos State governor, Mr. Babarunde Fashola (SAN), former Ekiti State governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Olurumibe Mamoro, Prof. Yemi Osibajo (a former commissioner in Lagos State), Senator Ajayi Borofice (currently representing Ondo North in the Senate) and Mr. Wale Edun, a former commissioner in Lagos State. While the trio of Osibajo, Borrofice and Edun may have existed in the realm of speculation, Ameachi, Oshiomhole, Fayemi and Mamora among others, are still in contention.
Former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State
Shortly before yesterday’s exercise, speculations were rife that the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, may be chosen. His religion and political experience are the factors behind the possibility of pairing him with Buhari. Fayemi, who lost the last governorship polls is regarded as an urbane politician, whose popularity extends beyond the South-West geopolitical zone. His robust civil society background also adds to his resume. Fayemi, who has a Doctorate degree in War Studies from the University of London, England, specializing in civil-military relations, is also known to have had a cordial relationship with Buhari when he governed Ekiti. Before he ventured into full time politics, he was the Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building and human security in Africa. Prior to his establishment of the centre, he worked as a lecturer, journalist, researcher and Strategy Development adviser in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He was Strategy Development Adviser at London’s City Challenge; research fellow at the African Research & Information Bureau in London, UK. He also played key roles in sending the military out of the Nigerian political firmament and was responsible for the founding and management of the opposition radios – Radio Freedom, Radio Democracy International & Radio Kudirat.
Amaechi’s name is not new in speculations and permutations in the presidential race, as he was generally alleged to have nursed the ambition of paring with Alhaji Sule Lamido on the platform of the PDP. However, since his defection to the APC, the Rivers State governor has been regarded as an ardent supporter of Buhari. For instance, the former Head of State had been a frequent guest at most functions organised by Amaechi. Having emerged more of a democratic hero in the crisis that resulted to his defection, Ameachi went ahead to become one of the leading governors in the party, hence, his emergence as a likely running mate. While it is the prerogative of the party to make a decision in that respect, some believe that Buhari/Amaechi ticket remains the best for the opposition party.
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