2019: Atiku meets Peter Obi, reportedly selects him running mate

Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi
Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has held talks with Peter Obi in Abuja, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Mr Obi arrived at Mr Abubakar’s residence in Asokoro neighbourhood around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, and both discussed in camera.

The former Anambra governor is widely speculated as a top candidate for Mr Abubakar to pick as running mate.

Multiple sources close to Mr Abubakar told PREMIUM TIMES Mr Obi has been chosen as the vice presidential candidate after the meeting.

“He is the one,” a top official in Mr Abubakar’s office told PREMIUM TIMES.

The source said a confirmation statement would be released latest by Saturday morning.

The former vice president on Sunday became the presidential candidate of PDP, Nigeria’s main opposition.

Several options have been suggested in the public domain, with the candidate being widely expected to choose from either the Igbo-dominated Southeast or a Yoruba choice in the Southwest part of the country.

The reported choice of Mr Obi is expected to galvanise the backing of the South-east towards Mr Abubakar’s candidacy.

Mr Obi was the governor of Anambra State between 2006 and 2014 under the All Progressives Grand Alliance, a party stridently associated with Odimegwu Ojukwu, the late head of the defunct Biafran state.

A career banker, Mr Obi is widely acknowledged as sound on economics, and he claimed credits for leaving a huge financial surplus when he handed over to Willie Obiano in early 2014.

Willie Obiano, who is also of APGA and anointed as a successor of Mr Obi, later claimed, however, that a good chunk of the surplus left by Mr Obi went into settling contractors who were not paid for their projects before Mr Obi left office.

Although neither Mr Abubakar nor the PDP has formally announced Mr Obi as running mate, a PDP senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, congratulated Mr Obi on Friday evening.

“Congrats my friend and brother, Mr. Peter Obi on your selection as vice presidential candidate to H.E @atiku. Without doubt, this is a solid team that will lift Nigeria to her rightly place amongst the assembly of nations,” Mr Murray-Bruce wrote on his verified Twitter handle.

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