Suspense persists in APC over choice of running mate

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Twenty fours hours to the deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for political parties to submit names of their vice presidential candidates, suspense has persisted in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over choice of running mate.It was learnt that various power brokers in the ruling party and lobbyists have doubled their pressure on Bola Tinubu and others who control the levers of power to push their interests in the choice for the vice presidential slot.

The development came just as the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will today screen its vice presidential aspirants.

A top member of the APC told Daily Sun that the tension in the camps of various interest groups scrambling for the vice presidential candidate slot is boiling over.

He said the issue of religion has become for Tinubu a hard nut to crack as he is still not certain how to wriggle through the choice between a Muslim/Muslim or Muslim/Christian ticket.

“Tinubu is between the devil and the deep blue sea. If he chooses a Muslim as a running mate, Christians would complain. If he ignores some powerful forces pushing for some popular Muslims as his running mate, such a decision may not go down well with them. Whatever happens, Asiwaju must take a decision in a matter of hours,” he said.

Also, the main opposition party would today screen its aspirants for the vice presidential slot.

The special panel saddled with the responsibility of shopping for a running mate for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar had, on Tuesday, settled for Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as its preferred choice for vice presidential slot.

However, the party is yet to make a formal announcement on the choice of Wike as its 2023 vice presidential candidate.

The opposition party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the screening panel will be headed by former Minister of External Affairs, Tom Ikimi.

Other members of the panel are former governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada , former Aviation minister, Osita Chidoka, former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Austin Opara among others.

The statement read: “Pursuant to Part VI, Paragraph 14 of the the Electoral Guidelines of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, the National Working Committee (NWC) has approved the nomination of the following party members to serve on the Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee for the screening/verifying of the nominated vice presidential candidate of our party for the 2023 general election.”

Daily Sun gathered that the PDP NWC in its meeting, yesterday, considered the report of the special panel and have forwarded same to Atiku.

However, a source at the PDP secretariat stated that the report forwarded to the party’s presidential candidate, also included Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and his Akwa Ibom counterpart, Udom Emmanuel.

Regardless, a leader of the PDP in the South East, who declined to be mentioned, said the vice presidential candidate ought to have been chosen from the zone, in the spirit of equity, fairness and balance.

He said: “Giving the position to South East will usher in peace and harmony in the PDP going into the 2023 elections instead of the South South that is already a battle field among the aspirants.”

(Sun)

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