Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has picked Yemi Osibajo, former attorney-general of Lagos state, as his running mate, TheCable can report. Buhari will submit his nomination form to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, a day to the deadline, after nearly one week of negotiation and horse-trading on who should be his vice-presidential candidate.
Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state, had made a spirited bid to be chosen, but met with a brick wall with the zoning of the position to the south-west. On Tuesday night, intense politicking threatened to mar the spirit in the party, as Amaechi made a last-ditch effort but was told by the retired general that Bola Tinubu, national leader of APC, would be the one to recommend the running mate.
TheCable’s report on August 21 Amaechi had succeeded in getting the enlarged meeting of the party’s leadership to oppose a Muslim-Muslim ticket, which Tinubu’s nomination was going to produce, but he was unable to benefit from the new development. At a meeting with Buhari on Tuesday, Amaechi, according to sources who spoke with TheCable, made a case for the south-south to be given the VP slot because of the likely backlash in the oil-producing region if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the election.
He also told Buhari that it would be impossible for the APC to campaign in the Niger Delta with neither No 1 nor No 2 on offer for the region. But Buhari reportedly told him that he had already agreed that the position should go to the south-west.
The governor invested heavily in Buhari’s campaign, paying for chartered flights, new vehicles and financing local and international media campaign to promote the candidacy of the former military head of state. Osibajo overcame last-minute challenge from other south-westerners such as former governors Kayode Fayemi, Niyi Adebayo and Olagunsoye Oyinlola.