As part of his strategic plans to strike balance among various interests in the Nigerian political space, the presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria(ANN), Fela Durotoye, has announced a prominent female ‘social change actor’ and lawyer, from northern Nigeria, Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya, as his running mate.
At the unveiling of the vice presidential candidate in Lagos, Durotoye said the party arrived at the choice of Abdulahi Iya, after due consultations within and outside the party to identify an ideal vice-presidential material that would share the dream of ANN.
“Those who believe in us and what we can make out of Nigeria if elected president, have continued to mount pressure on us to name our running mate. We took our time because we wanted the best. We were out there consulting stakeholders on who can join us to drive the process and the exercise paid off as many quality people whose paths had crossed that of Hajia Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya, unanimously recommended her.
“We did a background check and what we saw overwhelmed us. She is an award winning innovator, a serial social entrepreneur, publisher, mentor and author. Perhaps because she too had tried unsuccessfully to impress on Nigerian leaders to build a country that all we be delighted to identify with, convincing Hajia Khadijah was tough. At the end, she willingly accepted, having studied ANN manifestoes, discussed with people of like minds within the ANN family and discovered that it is a platform that could bring about the difference she has been clamouring for,” Durotoye said.
Beside her intellectual attribute and strong qualification, Durotoye said his choice of running mate has also confirmed the party’s stand to run a government that would give each and everyone, regardless of geo-political zone, religious affiliation and gender, equal opportunities.
“Here we are with a strong character, a female vice-presidential candidate a lawyer, a Muslim and a northerner. It is our determination to strike a balance among all interests. With a personality like Hajia Abdullahi-Iya and other men and women of repute within the ANN fold, we can be sure of a virile team that will rescue Nigeria from the clutches of rulers, whose mission is to run the tap dries and leave Nigerians to wallow in poverty.