With the choice and formal unveiling of Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, the move to take back Nigeria and redeem it from the years of the locust, has formally begun, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, told Nigerians on Friday.
Speaking at the unveiling of Baba-Ahmed, the founder of Baze University, Abuja, 24 hours after announcing him as his running mate, at the party’s secretariat in Abuja on Friday, Obi said, the long search for a suitable candidate to deputise him, had proved worthwhile by the choice of the 46-year-old educationist and lawmaker, who represented Kaduna North at the Senate.
“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.”
Before now, Doyin Okupe, who heads the campaign of the former Governor of Anambra State, has occupied the position, after his name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a stand-in to beat the deadline given by the commission.
It came in the wake of the negotiation between the camp of the former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and the LP, for a merger, an effort, which fell apart over the disagreement on who would would step down and take the VP position.
With the eventual choice of Baba-Ahmed, Okupe, who actually made the revelation that the party had eventually picked a substantive candidate on Thursday, also told Nigerians on the same day that he was withdrawing from the position in a post via his verified Twitter handle @doyinokupe.
He said: “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.”
Obi had acknowledged that the Senator was among those that had been approached for the position in an interview on Wednesday, while appearing as a guest on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme of Arise TV, saying he preferred a younger person as his vice-presidential candidate.
“We’re talking to a quiet number of people and Baba-Ahmed is a capable hand and I wish he is the one. But I wish I can work with somebody who is younger. I prefer younger people with fresh ideas who have a lot to offer rather than recycling old hands. I want a competent person and I am building a formidable team.
“I want people who can look me in the eye and disagree with me during cabinet meetings. People who have their own minds and ideas. If you agree with me in three meetings then you are gone because that means you don’t have your own ideas. I want people and cabinet members who can say ‘Mr. President, you are wrong,’” he told his host.
* Source: whirlwind.com.ng