Alhaji Atiku Àbubakar’s emergence as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 2023 presidential elections is a sign of commitment to the democratic process of the party without forcing its members on a so-called consensus candidate – imposing a candidate without the rigorous task where delegates will scrutinise and understand why their votes are needed and their choices respected.
Since his victory at the just concluded primaries there’s calm and relief, PDP came out victorious from the primaries. It’s no surprise that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state came second. In fact; it’s believe that Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s withdrawal swung the victory to Atiku in what would have been a close-run.
Beyond the primaries and the heated political discourse and debates ongoing across the nation, it’s time for Atiku to make a choice of his running mate. His choice should be devoid of emotion but what will bring victory to the party in the forthcoming elections and what the nation needs. The question is what/who will bring victory to the party?
PDP vice presidential candidate should have capacity, structure and national reach. The candidate should be bold and energetic; a candidate with experience, exposure and knowledge of law; a proven administrator and detribalised Nigerian; a loyal party man, loyal to his people, his nation and to his words. This is not only what the PDP needs, it’s what NIGERIA and Nigerians need at this moment that our nation is wounded and needs healing.
Knowing the APC ticket will likely go to South and vice president to North, PDP needs a candidate that can deliver North and a vice that can deliver South.
Who fits into this description? It’s Governor Wike. He may not be the choice for some people in Atiku’s camp on how he fights and make them work so tirelessly, but he’s truly what Atiku, PDP and NIGERIA need to make a rapid progress from oblivion, hopelessness, and despair.
Atiku alone can do so little, but with Wike they can do so much together. Atiku and his advisers should know Nigerians are closely watching and counting on them to make right choices no matter how difficult it may be. Their choice will determine the victory and survival of the PDP beyond 2023.
Abubakar Musa Mussaddiq,