• Bagudu, Dogara, Lalong, Mustapha, Zulum in the race to become Tinubu’s VP
• Tinubu favours Muslim-Christian ticket
Daily Courier – The two leading political parties are in last minute push on who gets the Vice President slot as INEC anounces Friday deadline for parties to submit candidates’ lists.
Parties have June 17 deadline to submit names of their presidential candidates and running mates.
Tinubu meets Northern APC govs over VP Slot
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is currently meeting with northern governors elected on the platform of APC over the choice of his running mate.
Following the emergence of former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the presidential standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday, the search is now on for somebody who is qualified enough to fill the position of Vice President.
Daily Courier investigation shows that the APC may depend on the Northern governors to pick Tinubu’s running mate considering the stabilizing role they played in his emergence.
Since Tinubu is a southerner, the vice presidential candidate definitely will come from the North. A source from the top hierarchy of the party informed Daily Courier that the candidate for the vice presidential position will most likely be a Christian from the North based on the flagbearer’s clear wish.
Also attending the meeting, which holding in Abuja, is the national chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
At least 10 APC governors are present at the meeting.
The VP may go to the North East based on the party’s zoning arrangement. Confirming this position, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Dogawa, in an interview with Channels TV, said, “There was a tentative zoning arrangement. I may be wrong, but I know of a tentative zoning arrangement that started with the emergence of the National Chairman of the party from the North-Central and we gave it to Abdullahi Adamu.
“On the same zoning arrangement, it gave out the presidency to the South and God, in His mercy, has given it to the right person – Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And in that same contemplated zoning agenda, it has given out the vice-presidency to the North-East. I may be wrong. This is not an official declaration of the party. I know of this tentative zoning arrangement that started during the election of the National Chairman (of the APC).”
Although Ado-Doguwa did not mention names, Daily Courier can authoritatively say that four names are being considered by Tinubu and some party bigwigs.
In their permutations and calculation, the party leaders, alongside Tinubu, are also considering the issue of religion.
Tinubu is a Muslim and many believe he may have to face reality of the current social forces presented by the polarisation of the country along religious and ethnic lines to pick a Christian as VP. The idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, many analysts believe, may not be in the best interest of the APC as it prepares for the 2023 presidential election. They are quick to point out that the Muslim–Muslim ticket of Abiola and Kingibe in the 1993 presidential election may not suit the present religious dichotomy in Nigeria.
They cited the recent killing of Christians by terrorists, the most recent being last week’s killing of worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, the murder of Deborah Yakubu by fanatics in Sokoto on the allegation of blasphemy and the sustained killings in southern Kaduna, populated mostly by Christians, as examples.
However, some APC loyalists are saying that Tinubu is popular across the four corners of the country and that whoever he and the party picks as Vice President, Muslim or Christian, may not count much during the election in February next year.
Hon. Yakubu Dogara
One of those being touted as capable of filling the position of Vice President is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Dogara showed that he was in serious contention for the position at the APC presidential convention held on Wednesday in Abuja.
Aware that his votes had crossed the 1,000 mark, well over the total number of his rivals put together, Tinubu in sky blue agbada and red cap embossed with his trademark symbol proceeded to the presidential podium to great President Buhari, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari and then National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu. Tagging along was Dogara, who also performed the same greetings.
Dogara was born on December 26, 1967 in Bauchi, Bauchi State.
He attended the University of Jos, Plateau State, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Law (LLB Hons.) degree in 1992. Between 1992 and 1993, Dogara was a student at the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in 1993. He later obtained a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in International Commercial Law at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland
Dogara is a strong advocate for the independence of the legislature. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007. His legislative interests include tenancy, regulating monopolies, company law and intellectual property. He has sponsored many bills and undertaken several assignments, some of which are mentioned below;
During the Sixth Assembly (2007 – 2011), Dogara chaired two House committees, namely the House Committee on Customs and Excise and the House Services Committee. During this period, he was also a member of the House committees on Judiciary, Capital Markets and Institutions, Foreign Affairs, Rural Development and Power, among others.
He was very active as the Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2015 and 2019, providing collegiate leadership that shows he is a team player.
He represented Dass/Tafawa Balewa/Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi in the House of Representatives.
On July 24, 2018, Dogara defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress. His religious background as a Christian may work in his favour, one that is needed to balance the APC Presidential Ticket. He also comes from the North-East geo-political zone, to which the party is yet to give any meaningful position, especially after Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who hails from the zone, lost in the presidential primary.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong
Governor Lalong is another name that has come up as a likely vice-presidential candidate of the ruling APC. He is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in his second term as Governor of Plateau State.
Lalong was born May 5, 1963 in Shendam, Plateau State. He then continued to Ahmadu Bello, Zaria, graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor’s degree in Law. This was immediately followed by a stint at the Law School in Lagos, where he was also called to the Bar. He later obtained a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1996.
He is also favoured by religious consideration, being a Christian. He however comes from the North-Central, which also produced the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu. This political factor may count against him.
Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum
Babagana Zulum, who was born on August 25, 1969 in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State. He is a professor and politician and currently a second-term Governor of Borno State.
He is favoured because of his youthfulness. But like Tinubu, he is a Muslim and a Muslim-Muslim ticket may be hard to sell to the majority of the party’s leaders.
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu
He represented Kebbi Central Constituency of Kebbi State in the Senate. He is the current Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum. He wields a lot of influence among the governors, but his Muslim background may be a minus.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Mustapha was born in 1956 in Garaha, a village located in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State. He is the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
He is most favoured for the position of vice president because he comes from Adamawa State where the candidate of the main opposition party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, comes from.
He is also a Christian and most analysts believe that Mustapha will balance the religious consideration that is very necessary in the political equation in the country.
Mustapha’s understanding of the inner workings of government will also come handy if eventually, the APC retains the presidency in 2023. His only weakness is that he is not a core politician.
Daily Courier reports that Tinubu won the APC’s presidential ticket after polling 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday.