2023: Search for presidential running mates begins

Presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bolu Tinubu, and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, have begun their search for a running mate.

What names are they looking at?
Bola Tinubu is expected to meet with the party’s leadership and the APC governors, who are expected to choose the party’s vice-presidential candidate. It has been reported that the choice of a running mate had been left to the APC governors on Monday, as they reached an agreement to zone the presidential ticket to the South of Nigeria.

How about Atiku’s?
The PDP presidential candidate was in a closed-door meeting with the PDP governors in Abuja on Wednesday to discuss options for the party’s Vice-presidential candidate. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set June 17 as the deadline for parties to submit their candidates’ lists.

Regional And Religious Factors
The choice of a running mate has always been influenced by regional and religious considerations, given the country’s sharp northern-southern and Christian-Muslim divide. Being a Muslim northerner, Atiku Abubakar’s choice of a running mate appears easier, in largely Christian south. But Tinubu, being a Muslim southerner, appears to have a more complicated task with a largely Muslim north to choose from.

The spokesman for the Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, has, however, downplayed the difficulty in reaching a choice. “The Vice-President can come from any region and religion”, he said, adding that “the party leaders will look at the chances and decide how they will balance a Muslim from the South, maybe with somebody that comes from North-East, North-Central or from North-West”.

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