Why PDP chooses Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate–APCO

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*Obi, Atiku, Daniel

The campaign organisation of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Atiku Abubakar has said that the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, was chosen as a running mate because of his expertise in local and global economics.

A statement by the director general of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO), Chief Gbenga Daniel, in Abuja late on Friday night who confirmed Obi’s nomination of Obi said “Mr. Obi’s choice was largely influenced by his youthfulness, vast knowledge of global and local economics as well as being a financial expert, all experience which Nigeria is in great need at this point in time.

The statement says further: “This ticket will be able to steer our nation back on the path of progress, economic prosperity and unity.”

“The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has chosen a former Chairman of Fidelity Bank PLC and former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate for the 2019 presidential election.

“Born on July 19, 1961, Peter Obi attended Christ the King College, Onitsha and later proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

“He is also a graduate of several international and national institutions such as the Lagos Business School; Harvard Business School; London School of Economics; Columbia Business School; Institute of Management, Switzerland; Kellogg Graduate School; Oxford University and Cambridge University.

“In public service, he has held various positions, some of which include member, Presidential Economic Management Team; Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, and the Governor of Anambra State.

“Peter Obi is an astute professional who has laid his footprints across the corporate world.

“He was the Chairman, Board of Security and Exchange Commission; former Chairman, Fidelity Bank PLC; former Chairman, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank; former Chairman, Future Views Securities; former Chairman, Paymaster Nigeria; former Chairman, Next International Nigeria; former Director, Guardian Express Bank PLC; former Director, Chams Nigeria PLC; former Director, Emerging Capital: former Director, Card Centre PLC.”

Obi is from the same state as Senator Ben Obi, whom Atiku picked as his running mate when he was the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress in 2007.

Obi was governor of Anambra State in Nigeria from 17 March 2006 to 2 November 2006, when he was impeached and from 9 February 2007 to 29 May 2007 after his impeachment was overturned. Although a fresh election was held on 29 April 2007, he was named governor on 14 June 2007 after a court ruling that he should be allowed to complete a four-year term.

He won a February 6, 2010 election for a second term as governor. During both terms, he was a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

He defected to the PDP in October 2014, citing the performance of the then President Goodluck Jonathan as his motivation.

NewsGazette gathered that Obi was nominated for the position after a perusal of the array of choices of candidates of Igbo extraction who were considered for the job.

The list included the former minister of finance and supervisory minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former governor of the central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, and the deputy senate president, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, among others.

Meanwhile, groups and individuals have reacted to Obi’s appointment with Obi the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere saying Obi will complement Atiku on restructuring.

Spokesman for the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who commended the PDP for the choice of Obi as Atiku’s running mate said the party’s flag bearer must have weighed the decision before selecting the former governor and businessman.

“Our strongest issue is restructuring of Nigeria and Peter Obi is from a zone that has signed on with us on restructuring. We expect him to complement his principal, who has talked so much about restructuring.

“This is the strongest plank on which they are standing; clearly, we are pleased that we have a team that would listen to the yearnings and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians.

“Atiku is a suave and strategic politician; he must have considered the pros and cons before making his choice and he must have made an informed choice,” said Odumakin.

For his part, a governorship candidate of the PDP in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze said: “Nigeria’s prayer is answered. Atiku has made the right choice in picking Obi as his running mate.

“Atiku has just shown that he is a hard-headed man who can make difficult decisions, which is required of purposeful leaders. Let’s get Nigeria working again.”

Other reactions are:

@iam_angelraf: My real VIP is a running mate of our next president in 2019. Congratulation Mr. “Peter Obi”

@jasonnneji: #2019#, nice move Atiku, Peter Obi will deliver the east for u

@Judeanikx:Today @atiku has shown that he means business in changing lives in Nigeria. “Peter Obi” and Atiku the best tag-team partners we need now. This is the best news I’ve heard since 2015. Nigeria will be great. @APCNigeria you can’t dig crap about “Peter Obi”

@MrAyeDee: No problem, if @atiku likes, he can have Peter Obi as his running, walking or even flying mate. Obiano is SOLIDLY on the ground in Anambra, and all back of the envelope calculations being equal, very strong certainty Anambra shall go with @OfficialAPCNg come 2019.

@PrinceOlanrew12:Picking Peter Obi is an error

@Iddybrown001: Yes, Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate is a great deal. But, Atiku’s team needs to do lots of work by making sure the entire Igbo community in Yoruba land are solidly behind Atiku and would cast their vote in favour of PDP. Lots of work to do. Izz not social media som’tin!

@creativerealens: I just wish the presidential race is between Peter Obi and Osinbajo. I don’t like Atiku and Buhari

@Maybeks: The choice of Peter Obi, one of the best governors of our time as Vice president should tell you something about Atiku…. He’s interested in our ECONOMY!! If I hear pim about that dullard called Buhari again! Nonsense

@NdibeNdibea: So Atiku chose a man that can’t deliver PDP in his ward in the last Anambra state gubernatorial election.

@MakiSpoke: To be honest, with Atiku and Peter Obi on the same ticket, I’m on their team. I have faith in Peter Obi’s competence.

@DoubleEph: Looks like Peter Obi will be the VP. That will be a solid solid solid solid pick. It’s only been 5 days but, so far, Atiku hasn’t put a foot wrong yet.

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