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Obi Unveils Baba-Ahmed as Running Mate, Vows to Rescue Nigeria

todayJuly 9, 2022

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* LP’s VP candidate says he is happy to be part of the movement to save country

Bennett Oghifo

Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, yesterday unveiled the founder of Baze University, Abuja, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

The 46-year-old economist cum politician served as Senator for Kaduna North from 2011 to 2012 and as a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007.

Baba-Ahmed’s announcement came barely 24 hours after the Director-General, Peter Obi Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe, announced his withdrawal as the vice-presidential candidate of the party.

Speaking at the unveiling yesterday, Obi, who apologised for the postponement of the event from Thursday to yesterday, said it signaled the party’s and his resolve in the journey to “take back Nigeria”.

Obi said: “It is good to be here today after weeks and months that we have gone round, consulted and searched around and looked for somebody who fits the bill of what we are trying to do.

“Today, I am proud to say I have been able to meet and secure somebody who is eminently qualified and fits the bill to be the Vice President of Nigeria. I know people will say you are not there yet, but I can tell you, I know where we are going.

“This is our right to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive. And you can’t do that without having people who have similar visions, ideas and are prepared for the task. So, I have the honour today to present to you, God willing, Nigeria’s next Vice President in the person of Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.”
Obi had on Wednesday on Arise News opened up on his choice of running mate, saying he preferred a younger person as his vice-presidential candidate.
He added that he prefers a younger person who has something to offer to complement his ticket rather than recycling old hands who had been in the government before now.

He said: “I want people who can look me in the eye and disagree with me during cabinet meetings. People who have their own minds and ideas. If you agree with me in three meetings then you are gone because that means you don’t have your own ideas. I want people and cabinet members who can say ‘Mr. President, you are wrong’.”

Baba-Ahmed yesterday explained that his decision to accept the vice-presidential nomination was borne out of his commitment to rescue Nigeria.
He said Obi and other Labour party stakeholders also played a major role in his decision to buy into their agenda and movement of getting Nigeria to where it should be.

He said, “My task here today is simple, and it is to accept my nomination but just before I do that, I should give justifications as follows.
“The undeniable and unchallengeable fundamental reason for being on this ticket is to rescue Nigeria.

“And it goes logically without saying that you can only rescue that which is in trouble and Nigeria is in trouble and I cannot afford not to be part of the movement to rescue Nigeria.

“The second reason is that I believe in the greatness of Nigeria. I believe there will be peace and prosperity, and I believe Nigeria people will unite.”
Speaking on Obi’s consideration, Baba-Ahmed said Obi’s integrity and achievements in the private sector were part of what also informed his decision to join the ticket.

“Having come from the education sector and background, when I hear a valuable thing, I know it and I cannot let it pass. The comment from our presidential candidate that the fertile land in the north and the crude oil of Nigeria are one.

“How much more nationalist and detribalised can you (Obi) be? I see a brighter future for Nigeria from such a comment. He is someone of integrity and capacity.
“This is a high point in my life and career. Having said this and with all trust in Almighty Allah and my belief in Nigeria and with all humility, I accept the generous nomination to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the 2023 general election.”

Obi, a former Anambra State governor, had on May 27, 2022, joined the Labour Party few days after dumping the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, saying the LP is the right platform that aligns with his aspiration.

According to him, he had chosen a route that he considered to be in line with “our aspirations and my mantra of taking the country from consumption to production.”

Baba-Ahmed on Arise News

Also speaking on Arise TV last night, Baba-Ahmed condemned President Buhari’s poor handling of the nation’s economy and security, describing him as a bad leader.

He said the only passenger train in Nigeria, “not done by this government has been blown up” and that after all promises, the government was yet to release those kidnaped by the terrorists and have not repaired the train.

The vice-presidential candidate said these ugly events had been compounded by the attack on Kuje Correctional facility, stating that what the nation honestly needed now was a credible leader.

“In 2023 elections, all I can see is Peter Obi, with due respect to the others. I have high regards for them. I have worked with Atiku (Abubarkar); he is knowledgeable and a master politician. Tinubu is a real master politician but he didn’t have to bring a Buhari as president because he wants to be president. If he was that good, he should have taken the presidency in 2015; why bring in Buhari?”

On the handling of nationalist agitators such as Sunday Igboho and IPOB, he said, “It has been handled very poorly, because if I were to be President Buhari, I would have in 2015 given Ogbonnaya Onu SGF of Nigeria and told him I don’t want to hear anything about agitation. But Buhari is such a bad leader.”
He said as a true Nigerian he would not succumb to discussing those persons agitating, stating that his focus was education and economic development.

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todayJuly 9, 2022

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