As the search for the running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) intensifies, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has said.
He, however, cautioned against actions that may endanger national unity and cohesion, religious denomination, ethnicity, followers and factors that would create spread should be considered, as the matter of politics is to win elections.
Making the claim while speaking to correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday, Uzodinma claimed that the choice of running mate is up to Tinubu and not the APC governors.
When asked if a single denominational ticket was desirable, Uzodinma replied, “I didn’t say it wasn’t a single denominational ticket. I said that there are internal characteristics that the decision-maker can take into account in the decision-making process. The decision to choose Mr. A or Mr. B as a candidate’s running mate is entirely up to the candidate.
“You started by saying that the governors of the South East complain that they no longer have the possibility of being a running mate. But it is not the only ambition of the Sud-Estistes, not to mention the governors, to be a running mate. And in the realm of presidential primaries, there is no election for a running mate. The business there is just to elect a candidate.
“In this ballot, there is no room for delegates to vote for who your running mate will be. So that explains why this is not a decision for the public, for the people. It is a decision for the candidate. The first thing to do is to elect the candidate. Now a candidate has emerged.
“Now the candidate will consider some ideas and questions such as how to create a spread. Spread is very important to be able to attract votes. So the decision of who becomes your running mate, if I was the candidate, what would inform him is what would get me the kind of votes I’m looking for, because the ultimate goal is to win the election.
“So maybe I’ll start with denomination or ethnicity or followership. In this democracy thing, I think numbers are what’s really important. And there are certain things as a nation that we should not bring to public discourse.
“Those things that are capable of creating divisions against national unity should not be encouraged. This does not mean that I will not remember that I come from a place, but I must also be careful and attentive to the how to use my place of origin to make national decisions. This is very important.
“The second question which is about the running mates, South East is not for the running mates. What we want as a zone is to be the president of Nigeria and I was convinced that it was right for us to ask it.
“But in this business, it’s partisan democracy. The minority will have its point of view, but the majority will do what it wants. In the wisdom of the delegates who elected the presidential candidate, a candidate has emerged. Our party, APC, will come together, work for our candidate and produce the next president. Simple.”
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When asked to comment on Tinubu’s alleged decision to run on a Muslim/Muslim ticket, the Imo Governor argued that the Nigerian Constitution does not dwell on religion as a selection factor presidential running mates.
He said, “There is nowhere in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where religion is a factor or a characteristic as to who becomes president or who becomes running mate.
“But we are looking for a united Nigeria, where governance will be the issue, where a president would be judged by his ability to deliver democratic dividends, to develop Nigeria to be like other parts of the western world where democracy works .
“I don’t want us to reduce governance in Nigeria to certain things that will encourage division. We should rather be a united Nigeria, be our brothers’ keepers, have a president of Nigeria who will be a president representing every tribe, every religion, every denomination, and when we get there, we will cross the bridge.
Uzodinma further warned that each section of the country demands that the others be able to produce the president, saying that the Southeast zone will work on what has so far prevented him from achieving the goal.
He said: “When I appeared on Channels TV on the morning of the convention, I told you that one of the conventions governing our politics in Nigeria is change of power. This power comes from the North and goes to the South. When power came to the South in 1999, we ceded it to the South West and we all voted as Nigerians.
“The next time power came to the South, it went South-South and we all voted as Nigerians. We expected that now that power had returned to the South, it would go to the Southeast, but this is not a decision that a geopolitical zone can make alone.
“No geopolitical zone can become president without the participation of other political zones. So when you don’t get cooperation, you start to find out why and strive to get cooperation next time, because it has to be a united country for you to become president.
“So all we’re saying is that for fairness, for fairness for justice, there are certain feelings to take into account when we make national decisions, but we don’t think that’s enough. to disrupt our country. You need to go forward. »
The governors had met President Buhari behind closed doors at the presidential villa in Abuja. Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, led the state chief executives to the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Governors Babagana Zulum (Borno), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Abdullahi Sule, (Nasarawa), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Uzodimma (Imo).
Meanwhile, the Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria (TEKAN) has called on Nigerians to reject any political party that fills the Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket. TEKAN President Rev. Caleb Ahima and TEKAN General Secretary Rev. Moses Ebuga in a statement made available to reporters in Jos strongly condemned the call for a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket. , saying such a note could confuse the country. .