Osibanjo may no be. Vice president in 2019-APC

The All Progressives Congress has said it will not force anyone on President Muhammadu Buhari as his running mate if he wins the party’ s presidential ticket .

Consequently, the ruling party said it would not compel the President , who recently told the APC leadership of his intention to seek a second term in office , to pick his incumbent deputy , Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ( SAN) , as his running mate.

But while informing the National Executive Committee of the APC of his interest to seek re -election in 2019 in Abuja on Monday , Buhari was silent on who would be his running mate in his bid to get a second term as President .

Buhari did not , however , indicate, at the meeting , that he would pick any other candidate apart from Osinbajo , whom he had previously described in glowing terms .

But the National Publicity Secretary of the APC , Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi , who spoke to

SUNDAY PUNCH on the issue , believed it would be unfair to impose anyone on the party’ s presidential candidate .

Abdullahi , a former sport and youth development minister , said doing so might cause friction between the two party representatives.

The spokesperson for the APC stated that rather , the winner of its presidential primary would be allowed to choose his running mate.

When asked if Buhari would retain Osinbajo as his running mate in 2019, Abdullahi said , “ You know it is not the duty of the party to impose someone on the presidential candidate . In any case , if the President emerges as the party’ s candidate, we won ’ t impose anyone on him . Remember he ( Buhari ) is not going to be the sole aspirant?

“ But it is the duty and the responsibility of the candidate to pick whosoever he likes and he is ready to work with . It is not the duty of the party to pick or impose anyone on him . No , that is not democracy.

“ So , if President Buhari emerges as our candidate, he is the one to pick and also announce his running mate . ”

The camp of the National Leader of the APC , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was said to have picked Osinbajo, a former justice commissioner under Tinubu in Lagos , in 2014 as Buhari’ s running mate after the ex -head of state emerged the candidate of the then opposition party.

While Buhari came from the defunct Congress for Progressives Change, Tinubu’ s group , which was said to be a major one because of the number of governors and legislators that were in office on the platform of the then Action Congress of Nigeria , was allowed to produce the emerging party’ s running mate.

Though party sources said some members of the then New Peoples Democratic Party, comprising five governors , tried to truncate the emergence of Osinbajo, the sources added that Tinubu insisted on nominating Osinbajo.

A source, who was privy to Osinbajo’ s emergence then , said , “ The fact then was that one of the then current governors wanted the slot. But he was not very close to the former Lagos State governor .

“ Then , a former governor from the South – South region also wanted it. He belonged to the NPDP then and he had the backing of his fellow governors as well .

“ But we knew the importance of the South – West and the number of people coming behind Asiwaju was equally intimidating. At a point, the merger was threatened because of this .

“ The former governor even wanted to take the slot. But because of his religion, many people felt it would be unfair to have a Muslim -Muslim ticket .

“ But at the end of the day , Asiwaju nominated Osinbajo , who is not only a Christian , but also a pastor in one of the largest growing churches in Nigeria . ”


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