The 2023 presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, on Friday picked a 46-year-old founder of Baze University, Abuja, Mr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate.
The running mate was unveiled at an event in Abuja on Friday.
The development came less than 24 hours after Doyin Okupe, former senior special assistant on public affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, announced his withdrawal as the party’s vice presidential candidate.
Okupe announced his withdrawal via his verified Twitter handle @doyinokupe saying his party would announce the new running mate to the presidential candidate.
“This afternoon I submitted my withdrawal letter from the position of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party to INEC. A replacement will be announced by d national chairman of d party shortly. I feel greatly blessed to have been part of the foundation of success 4 the LP,” he tweeted.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Obi said he had met somebody who fits the bill of a running mate, nay vice president.
“It is good to be here today after weeks and months that we have gone round, consulted and searched around and looked for somebody who fits the bill of what we are trying to do.
“Today, I am proud to say I have been able to meet and secure somebody who is eminently qualified and fits the bill to be the Vice President of Nigeria.
“I know people will say you are not there yet, but I can tell you, I know where we are going.
“This is our right to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive. And you can’t do that without having people who have similar visions, ideas and are prepared for the task.
“So, I have the honour today to present to you, God willing, Nigeria’s next Vice President in the person of Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed,” he said.
Responding, Baba-Ahmed said he appreciated the LP’s geture of selecting him as a vice-presidential candidate.
He said fundamental reason for being on party’s ticket is to rescue Nigeria from the state of collapse.
“I cannot afford not to be part of the movement to rescue Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier in the day, he said on Channels Television programme that social media users will vote in the 2023 presidential election, contrary to some opinions.
He noted that money will not be the deciding factor in the outcome of the elections.
“Go and start looking at the bookings of major European airlines into Nigeria, not just during Christmas time; funny enough, this time after Christmas time; late January to the third week of February, you will see that they are getting full.
“I am into the business of data and statistics and I decided to particularly look at that. This tells you that social media is going to vote. Social media, even if they’re in Canada, even if they’re in Antarctica; one person is there and he mobilises 100,000 people to go out and vote, it has succeeded. But we are not scared.
“The bank balance of any big politician is starting to be irrelevant. Those of us who sweated for the little that we have, we’re spending it very wisely and very carefully. Those of them who made it from government, who just open the coffers and bring it out, they’ll continue to splash it and it will continue to mean less and less till the election hour,” he said.
Baba-Ahmed added that if elected into office, their administration will not be nepotistic in appointments.
Baba-Ahmed was a member of the house of representatives from 2003 to 2007. In 2011, he won the senatorial election to represent Kaduna north. But the election tribunal overturned his victory and he left office in 2012.
In January 2022, he announced his intention to contest the governorship election in Kaduna state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but withdrew from the race some hours before the governorship primary election.