Wednesday, December 17, 2014 9:21 am
From all indications, Professor Yemi Osibajo will be unveiled today as the running mate to the All Progressives presidential candidate, Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari.
Osibajo sealed the ticket last night after party bigwigs weighed the various options for the pairing and ruled out a muslim-muslim combination.
This shut the door against a possible pairing of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with Buhari, despite the massive votes this could attract in February and the insistence of APC South West caucus.
Sources said that because of the way the nation has been polarised by the Jonathan administration, on religious and ethnic lines, the All Progressives Congress appeared was finally swayed by the argument that only a religiously sensitive presidential pairing will be a winner in the 14 February election, next year.
Osibajo, a law professor and former Attorney-General of Lagos state is a christian and senior pastor of the Redeemed Church of Christ.
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said General Buhari will announce the running mate by himself today at a news conference in Abuja.
”The party has consulted with the candidate and we have reached some agreement and he will address you tomorrow(today),” Oyegun told newsmen on Tuesday.
Analysts believe that a christian on the Buhari ticket will guarantee the votes of those Christians in the North Central, South South, South West and South East who believe in the APC’s programs but may not be comfortable with a muslim/muslim Presidential ticket. “With Pastor(Professor) Osibajo on the ticket, the perceived baggage that Buhari carries will be more than compensated for. With this ticket, General Overseers of major Nigerian Churches will be eager to bless the ticket because one of their sons in Ministry will be on the ticket”, wrote Bunmi Awoyemi in saharareporters.com
“The PDP has made religion and tribe the centre-piece of its bigoted Presidential campaign by highlighting and focusing squarely on the perception that Buhari is a religious zealot. With Pastor Osibajo on the ticket that religious card will become obsolete. GEJ will be left with the tribal card which would have to be countered with massive TV, Radio, Newspaper and internet adverts,”, Awoyemi added
Yemi Osibajo, 55 years old, is the senior partner at SimmonsCooper Partners. He was for eight years, the attorney-general of Lagos State, during which wide-ranging reforms were carried out in the judiciary. The Lagos template became a reference point for the entire nation.
Osibajo is also a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He was educated at Igbobi College in Lagos, the University of Lagos, Nigeria (LLB, 1978) and the London School of Economics (LLM, 1980). He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1979.
He has authored several books on civil procedure in Nigerian superior courts, rules of evidence and justice reform.