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Buhari in VP Dilemma

It’s Pastor Bakare Or Pastor Osinbajo

As the deadline for political parties to submit their candidates for this year’s general elections to INEC expires today,  Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and main challenger in the contest, would choose between Pastor Tunde Bakare and Pastor Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate.

Bakare, a lawyer, is the presiding pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly in Lagos. He is also the convener of the influential Save Nigeria Group (SNG).

Osinbajo, a professor of law at the University of Lagos, is an ordained pastor with Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s Redeemed Christian Church of God. He was the state attorney-general and commissioner of justice when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State.

Osinbajo, a smart and brilliant technocrat, is the choice of Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) after a proposal for a Buhari-Tinubu ticket collapsed following Buhari’s objection to a Muslim-Muslim ticket. But the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket would sail through only if the CPC/ACN alliance is consummated today.

Bakare, it appears, would be Buhari’s choice if the alliance talks collapse. At the time of going to press, the chances of the talks succeeding remained 50-50.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the National Secretary of the ACN, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, said yesterday in Abuja that the alliance talks between the party and the Congress for Pressure Change (CPC) had collapsed.

Shuaibu told NAN that the talks were deadlocked because the CPC had another agenda besides ensuring that its presidential aspirant becomes president in the April general election.

He noted that the CPC insisted that Buhari must be the presidential candidate in the event that the talks were successful.

He stressed that the CPC insisted that the General must fly his party’s flag and that meant that the ACN would be putting too much at stake.

“I feel and I think those people have another agenda other than ensuring that Buhari becomes president of Nigeria,” he said.

An insider in Buhari’s camp, however, rejected the insinuation of a hidden agenda, saying the main issue was Buhari’s objection to a Muslim-Muslim ticket.  “There is no hidden agenda,” the source said.

The CPC had zoned the vice-presidential slot to the South-West where it hopes to garner block votes in the presidential election in addition to votes from northern states where it believes it has a strong following.

The ACN, on its part, is the strongest party in the South-West: it controls three of the six states. A fourth state, Ondo, is held by the Labour Party, which currently associates with the ACN in all political activities in the zone. Besides, the ACN controls Edo State.

For Bakare to make any considerable impact on the ticket – if Buhari eventually settles for him – he would have to find a way to forge a working relationship with the ACN.

Many pundits still postulate that, for the opposition parties to make any headway, they must forge an alliance to face the ruling PDP at the polls. “Anything short of that would guarantee the PDP another four years and probably many more years in power,” said one analyst.

-Leadership

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Posted by on Jan 30 2011. Filed under Elections 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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