By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is presently being faced with many temptations on his choice of running mate from the array of qualified aspirants from the Southern part of Nigeria, findings have shown.
Checks revealed that it is almost certain that the vice presidential slot is most likely to be ceded to the South South or South East geopolitical zone judging from the unfolding scenario.
The likes of presidential contender, Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state are being mentioned while in the South East, former Enugu state, Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim and former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha are on the card.
However, fresh considerations, it was learnt, favours the South East geopolitical zone for equity, fairness and justice .
The protagonists of the South East for the vice presidential position are contending that since 1999, the zone has not had the opportunity to produce neither the president nor the Vice President .
According to them , Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (South West) President from 1999 to 2007 while Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (South South) was President from 2010 to 2015.
While analysing the development, a chieftain of the party from Kogi state, Musa A. Musa stated, “As it stands today, the South East zone should ordinarily be allowed to produce the Presidential candidate for the 2023 election, but since Atiku Abubakar; a North Easterner is our candidate, it is only fair and logical that the vice presidential position to the south be micro zoned to the south East”.
Three prominent south Easterners; former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governor of Enugu state Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha are being mentioned as likely running mate to Atiku.
Both Anyim ( Ebonyi currently an APC state ) and Ihedioha (Imo currently an APC state) were presiding officers in the National Assembly and have garnered cognate legislative experiences.
But Chimaroke Nnamani has twin advantages of legislative and executive experiences over them. Besides, Enugu state where he hails has remained a consistent PDP state since 1999. Nnamani was Enugu state Governor for eight years under the PDP and currently a ranking Senator representing Enugu East.
He is a medical Doctor trained in Nigeria and America specializing in Foetal medicine ( medicine of the unborn babies).
Nnamami is a professor of medicine and currently teaches and supervises Medical students at Enugu state university of Science and Technology ( ESUT) pro bono.
He left a legacy of massive infrastructure including but not limited to the permanent site of ESUT, Teaching hospital, general hospital in all the local governments. the Nigeria Law school among others .
A political analyst and Law lecturer at the Baze University, Abuja, Dr. Sam Amadi submits that if merit, competence and capacity would be the yardstick, Senator Nnamani is the destination for the vice presidential position.
Dr. Amadi said Senator Nnamani’s international exposure having schooled and worked in America will be an added advantage and asset to the nation if nominated for the position.