Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has chimed in on the issue surrounding the selection of the running mate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
There have been arguments and counterarguments on Tinubu’s choice of running partner, with many expressing differing opinions on a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Uzodimma told reporters on Tuesday, following a meeting with governors of the governing party and President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock, that Tinubu’s running mate selection would take into account all factors that promote fairness and national unity.
“We seek a united Nigeria where governance is the issue, where a president is judged on his ability to deliver democratic dividends, and where Nigeria is developed to resemble other Western regions where democracy is functioning.
“I don’t want us to reduce governance in Nigeria to things that will promote division; rather, we should be a unified nation, be our brother’s keeper, and have a president of Nigeria who represents every tribe, religion, and sect. And upon arrival, we shall cross the bridge.
“None of the governors has the authority to choose a running mate. The presidential candidate will consider local features and every political and apolitical factor that will help him win the election before making a decision. Therefore, we will not sit here and make a decision for the nominee.”
On whether he would like to see a governor as Tinubu’s running partner, Uzodinma responded, “Why not? Have you forgotten, Ahmed Tinubu, that he served as governor for eight years? If he chooses a governor, we will back his decision. For the time being, we are no longer discussing who becomes running mate and who does not. I have explained who makes the choice. The next step for us, as party leaders and opinion leaders, is to organise the quality and convince party members to commit to a successful election by 2023. How to win the election so that our departing president will likewise pass over power to our own president of the APC is our current worry.”
Uzodinma, in response to a query regarding how people from the South East may achieve their goals in the future, replied, “I did not say is not about single faith ticket when I said the Constitution is not against the problem of single faith tickets.
“I stated that these are internal features that the decision maker may take into account during the decision-making process. “It is totally up to the candidate to decide whether Mr. A or Mr. B will serve as his or her running mate. You began by stating that the governors of the south east are upset that they no longer have the possibility to be a running mate. However, this is not the only objective of the south easterners, much alone the governors seeking the vice presidential nomination. And in the matter of presidential primaries, there is no election for a vice presidential candidate; there is only an election for a candidate.
“There is no space on this ballot for delegates to vote on who will serve as your running partner,” This explains why the people do not have a say in the matter. It is up to the candidate to decide. Now that a candidate has emerged, the first thing to do is to allow them to run.
“Now the applicant will explore certain suggestions and concerns, such as how to develop a spread. It is crucial to have a wide reach in order to gain votes. Consequently, if I were a candidate, the choice of my running mate would be influenced by the actions I would take to obtain the votes I need to win the election, as the ultimate objective is to win.
“So perhaps I’ll begin with the nomination, ethnicity, or following. In this business of democracy, I believe that numbers are crucial. And there are certain topics that, as a nation, we should not discuss in public; those that have the potential to undermine national unity should not be promoted. It does not imply that I will forget where I come from, but I must be cautious and watchful in how I use my origins when making national judgments. This is of vital importance.”