Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, has said that the decision to choose a presidential running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 elections lies with the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and not with governors.
He made this known to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the latter’s planned state visit to commission some projects executed by his administration.
He said the ruling party will take into considerations all the indices that will promote fairness and unity of the country in its choice of a presidential running mate.
On the insinuations that the APC was planning to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket, he said there is nowhere in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where religion is a factor or characteristics as to who becomes the President or who becomes the running mate.
“But we are looking for united Nigeria, where governance will be the issue, where a president would be ajudged by his capacity to deliver democratic dividends, develop Nigeria to look like other parts of the western world where democracy is working.
“I don’t want us to reduce governance in Nigeria to certain things that will encourage divisiveness, rather, we should be a united Nigeria, be our brother’s keepers, have a president of Nigeria that will be a president representing every tribe, every religion, every denomination. And when we get there, we will cross the bridge.
“The decision also to choose a running mate does not reside with any of us the governors. It is the presidential candidate that will look at the local characteristics and every factor, political and apolitical that will make him win his election and take the decision. So, it’s not a decision that we will sit here and take for the candidate,” Uzodimma said.
On whether if he would like to see a fellow governor as a running mate to Tinubu, Uzodinma sai: “Why not? Ahmed Tinubu, have you forgotten he was a governor for eight years? If he chooses a governor, so be it, we will support it. For now, we are no longer talking about who becomes running mate and who is not running mate. I have told you whose decision it is.
“The next thing as party leaders now and opinion leaders, is for us to rise up, mobilise the quality and get members of our party to commit to a successful election by 2023. So that our president that is leaving will also be handing over to our own president of APC, that is our preoccupation now, how to win the election.”