As the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, ponders over who the cap fits to serve as his running mate in the 2019 presidential elections, political analysts have advised him to look south west as it will convince the people that they have nothing to lose by rejecting the All Progressives Congress, APC. This move, they said will further weaken APC’s influence in the area and strengthen the position of PDP to successfully contend for the deterministic voting population of the south west, the same way it will do in the north west and ultimately wrestle power from the APC at the centre.
According to the analysts who spoke to Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt, the gesture will also assuage the feelings of politicians from the area, who were aggrieved when they failed to secure the chairmanship position in the party. They further reasoned that Atiku is already at home in the south east but needed to take measures that can counter possible sentiments that might be thrown up against PDP by key opposition politicians in the area.
Meanwhile, names of some prominent Nigerians, predominantly from the south east are being thrown up for consideration as Atiku’s running mate.
They include former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo; former finance minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; former managing director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria, Chike Obi; former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, and the deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The analysts, who were unanimous that 2019 was Atiku’s for the taking because of the unsatisfactory performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, believe that favouring someone from the south west as Atiku’s running mate will not in any way threaten the chances of the south east producing a successor to Atiku Abubakar, in line with the general understanding in Nigeria to give all zones of the country a fair chance to occupy the exalted office of president of Federal Republic of Nigeria.