The confusion over the choice of the authentic running mate to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is deepening as he has returned to Abuja to continue consultations on the contentious issue.
Tinubu had returned to Lagos on Sunday, June 19, 12 days after he defeated a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, among others, to pick the APC presidential ticket.
Tinubu had in the days following his emergence visited all the contenders for the exalted seat in a bid to solicit their support and build unity in the party.
The APC candidate is expected to name his final running mate on or before the July 15 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission to replace Kabir Ibrahim Masari, whom he named as in ‘placeholder’ capacity.
As the deadline draws near, Tinubu, the APC and the Progressive Northern Governors’ Forum are said to be in a dilemma over the choice of an acceptable running mate as opposition continues to mount over a possible Muslim-Muslim ticket for the ruling party. They have however continued the search for a formidable candidate.
Masari, a chieftain of the APC in Katsina State, is a serving board member of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Plateau State.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had picked Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate; while the Labour Party candidate, peter Obi, settled for a former presidential spokesperson, Dr Doyin Okupe, as his running mate in ‘placeholder’ capacity.
The New Nigeria People’s Party, on the other hand, settled for a legal luminary, Ladipo Johnson, to run alongside its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Both LP and NNPP are still holding talks to have a joint ticket but they have yet to decide on who among Obi and Kwankwaso would be the candidate and the running mate.