By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, chose former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate to reward the former governor for his loyalty, consistency and competence, a source close to the selection process told THISDAY yesterday.
Speaking from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the Atiku campaign strategy is being mapped out, the source that did not want to be mentioned, also said South-east leaders and vice presidential aspirants, including Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Dave Umahi, were being pacified, adding that Atiku had given a firm commitment to spend one term and hand over to a South-easterner in 2023.
Clarifying the reason for the choice of Obi, the source said of all the aspirants for the position, he was the only one, who did not make any demand and worked assiduously for the emergence of Atiku.
“Once he gave his commitment, he remained steadfast, lobbying Igbo leaders, Archbishops and diplomatic community for Atiku. He was the only one who never asked to be appointed before throwing in his support,” he said.
According to the impeccable THISDAY source, while others like Umahi and Ekweremadu, demanded the vice presidential slot in exchange for support to the Atiku course, it was discovered that they were oscillating among the other presidential aspirants and gave no firm commitment.
“It was only Obi that never wavered,” he said, explaining that such a person would no doubt be trust worthy.
He also said Obi’s sterling qualities and private and public service records were without doubt shoulder higher than the other contestants, explaining, “Obi’s loyalty, consistency, and clear competence stood him out.”
The source also spoke on Atiku’s promise to serve for only one term and said the PDP presidential candidate was resolute and would deliver on the pledge, affirming that he was ready to sign an agreement committing him to a term of office.
He assured Nigerians that once the presidential candidate returns to Nigeria in the first week of next month he would go straight into discussions with South-east leaders to reassure them that he was on the same page with their aspiration to govern Nigeria.
“With Atiku, whose deputy is a competent and experienced technocrat and politician, the South-east is closer to the presidency that the other ticket, who a minister already said was already looking elsewhere even before the 2019 contest,” he said.