13 October 2018

Nigeria: 2019 - How Nigerians Reacted to Atiku's Choice of Peter Obi As Running Mate

Nigerians have reacted to the selection of Peter Obi as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Abubakar is the People Democratic Party's presidential candidate for the 2019 general election.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the choice of the two-term Anambra State governor was announced on Friday evening.

According to the director-general of the presidential campaign organisation, Gbenga Daniel, Mr Obi's choice was largely influenced by his youthfulness, vast knowledge of global and local economics as well as being a financial expert, "all the experience which Nigeria is in great need of at this point in time."

Following the congratulatory messages posted by PDP members and loyalists like a senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, and publisher, Dele Momodu, on Friday, some social media users also endorsed the candidacy of Mr Obi.

Victor Fatanmi @victorfatanmi, a Twitter user, saw the decision as a strategic move.

"Atiku's selection of Peter Obi is

1. The most strategic decision I have witnessed in Nigeria's politics.

2. The most widely-embraced announcement in the current election season.

Still skeptical of Atiku. I tend to the alt candidate side of things but Peter Obi is just right."

Some tagged the decision a move to enhance unity amongst Nigerians because Mr. Obi hails from the South-east while Mr Atiku is from the North-east part of the country.

Adeyanju Deji @adeyanjudeji tweeted;

"We can now all say we are One nation under God where no one is marginalised on the basis of their tribe or ethnicity."

"Peter Obi's emergence as running mate is not about the Igbos just as Atiku's is not about the Fulanis - this is about Nigeria becoming a Nation, about reclaiming the Buhari-tainted reputation of Fulanis and shutting down some anti-Nigeria threat to Nationhood," Mr Demola Olarewaju @demolaRewaju retweeted.

However, some said the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) may want to witch-hunt Mr Obi, whose integrity in public service had been commended.

As a serving governor in 2006, Mr Obi was removed but was eventually reinstalled on February 9, 2007, after he took the matter to court and won. He served till May 29 that year.

"Now that it's very clear that @atiku & Peter Obi are both teaming up for d position of President & Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are patiently waiting for @APCNigeria To start digging and uploading Peter Obi scandals better still send @officialEFCC." Bakare Oluwaseun @Papabaks tweeted sarcastically.

Meanwhile, some criticised the choice made by Mr Abubakar.

Jack Obiyan @JackObiyan said the PDP Vice presidential candidate should have been from the South-west because of the voting strength of the region.

"Peter Obi is Atiku's running mate, adds no value, he hails from a PDP customary stronghold... If you want to be Nigeria's President, you need NW & SW... Atiku undermines SW, he loses POTENTIALLY."

"Peter Obi won't make PDP win more votes in any region except the SE - their normal stronghold," Adebayo Bankole @Adebanqie posted

"Even if Atiku Abubakar appoints VPs from every states in SS and SE. He cannot get more than 3-4 million votes from both regions. Muhammadu Buhari may even half the the votes if care is not taken. 2019 election will be decided by NW and SW," Eddiong @ Eddiong said in his tweet.

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