The ruling All Progressives Congress may soon reveal its vice-presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
The presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu, will on Tuesday meet with the party’s stakeholders, including governors and thereafter announce his running mate on Wednesday, The Punch reports.
Meanwhile, according to the report, the APC governors and other stakeholders had agreed that the North-East should produce the vice-presidential candidate of the party.
Prospective candidates are Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu; a former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima; the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.
The resolve of the governors and stakeholders is that the Vice-Presidential candidate will be from the North-East, while the position of the Senate President would go to the South-East and North-West would produce the House of Representatives Speaker.
Speaking with Punch, an associate of Tinubu and Lagos Vice Chairman (Central) of the APC, Hakeem Bamgbala, said the presidential candidate would unveil his running mate in the next two or three days.
Bamgbala also said the party had not decided on the issue of a Muslim running mate for Tinubu.
He was quoted as saying, “The issue of this Muslim-Muslim ticket is still speculation till the next two to three days (Wednesday) when the party will unveil Asiwaju’s running mate.
“It is not enough for anybody to just come out to say the APC is fielding a Muslim VP. Nobody has mentioned that. We are still looking at a credible northerner who can be a Christian too to pair with Tinubu.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, stated, “We are not in any kind of time competition with the PDP to make that announcement.
“If the PDP chooses to make their announcement on Tuesday, that does not impose any obligation on the APC or any other party for that matter to make a similar announcement by that date,” he said.
He explained that the process of deciding the candidate is not a unilateral decision.
“Again, the choice of vice president will be made through consultation with the party and relevant stakeholders. Nigerians should be patient as they decide on the candidate and the part of the country he is coming from,” he stated.
The APC publicity secretary also confirmed that there were reconciliatory moves by Tinubu to mend fences with South-East political leaders.
He stated, “I am sure you know that since the convention, the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has been on the road reaching out to and meeting all the aspirants and co-contestants at the primary. And in doing so, he is rallying them back to the base in readiness for the upcoming campaign,” he said.
The Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, said the North-East should produce the next vice-president, while the President of the Senate should come from the South-East.
Ado-Doguwa also stated that the APC could win with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He noted that Tinubu, a Muslim, is married to Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a Christian.
He further said the National Assembly was working with the Progressive Governors’ Forum, to select a vice-presidential candidate for the party.
Ado-Doguwa said, “I want to say we, as a National Assembly Caucus, do not have to champion or advocate any separate cause to ask or to influence the choice of the vice-president. The governors have honestly shown leadership. They provided direction and exhibited a spirit of selflessness, which hitherto was lacking. We now have unwavering confidence in the body of the PGF.
“We are eminent members of the NEC (National Executive Committee), National Caucus and the presidential tripartite committee of our great party, where we offer our bits of advice and help to provide direction for our party.”
Speaking on concerns that Tinubu, a Muslim, might be forced to pick a Muslim running mate from the North where Christians are the minority, the House’ Majority Leader said the APC could win the presidential election with any combination, considering the candidate’s personality.
Ado-Doguwa said, “I believe Senator BAT (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) is a very good choice in this regard. He has a wealth of experience. He has the requisite global exposure to make our country a greater nation. It is, therefore, my thought that even a Muslim-Muslim ticket could fly, just like a reverse case could also work.
“For me, whichever way it goes, the APC would emerge victorious come 2023. The scientific parameters for electoral success in a developing country like our own have proved to us that the ruling APC is still the party to beat.”