It has emerged that the immediate pushback by South-east leaders against the choice of their kinsman, Mr. Peter Obi, as running mate to the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was due to an alleged multiplicity of persons promised the same post. Atiku was said to have promised about five people from the zone the same position, but settled for Obi without running it by the others.
Thus, rather than elicit excitement, Atiku’s eventual pick of Obi caused unexpected rage among the political elite in the South-east, as a majority of them considered his decision without consultation a betrayal.
Among those believed to have been promised the vice presidential position were the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Chairman, South-east Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi; Obi himself; and two others, whose identities could not be immediately ascertained at the time of going to press.
THISDAY learnt that Atiku was advised by his campaign team to promise as many people as possible the vice presidential position, which was exactly what he did as a way to corner the South-east votes at the convention. It was on the basis of this that many of the potential picks went to work and campaigned vigorously, mobilising the South-east states to support Atiku’s presidential bid and at the same time committing huge personal resources in the hope that an Atiku win would automatically catapult their political career.
THISDAY, October 28, 2018
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