Minutes after Atiku Abubakar was
With the increased political consciousness among the electorates, Atiku's choice of a running mate can either mean a return to power for the PDP or victory for the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
Like the choice of a spouse, selecting a running mate is so important that it can either make or mar Atiku's race to Nigeria's seat of power in 2019.
"Basically, the South East, South West and South South are the region we're currently looking at," said a chieftain of the PDP who craved anonymity.
"A lot of names have come up but this decision is so important that we're looking for someone with a proven track record of competence, character and integrity to deliver Nigeria from the mess the APC has created in over three years," the source declared.
At the moment, these are the five names on the table.
Born on July 19, 1961, in Onitsha, former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, is top on the list of possible running mates for Atiku.
Like Atiku, Obi is an experienced politician and businessman.
Multiple sources say the relationship between Atiku and Obi has improved in recent times.
“Having personally followed him in the past six months, listened and interacted with him on a number of issues negatively affecting our society, I observed in him a person who has the burning desire to leave a footprint in the sands of time,” Obi said in a reaction to Atiku's victory at the PDP presidential election.
Obi is reputed to put in place a blueprint for the effective running of Anambra state.
At , Obi said he saved over N150 million meant for two bulletproof cars which was used to buy 100 Peugeot vehicles for judges and permanent secretaries in the Anambra state.
"As a vice president, Peter Obi will not be a figurehead. He will chair the economic team and he has the necessary experience for the job," the source said.
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and former Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina's name is also being penned down as Atiku's running mate ahead of 2019.
Adesina introduced more transparency into the fertiliser supply chain.
He was named as for his reform of Nigerian agriculture.
As AfDB president, Adesina launched a strategy based on energy, agriculture, industrialization, regional integration and bettering Africans' lives.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed Adesina as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals (SDGs) in 2010.
On June 26, 2017, he was named the winner of the World Food Prize for his efforts towards ensuring food security.
Former Finance Minister and coordinator of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is the only woman on the list, understands.
Ngozi, an economist and a former Managing Director of the World Bank between 2007 and 2011, spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US$18 billion.
In 2003, Ngozi led efforts to improve Nigeria’s macro-economic management including the implementation of an oil-price-based fiscal rule where revenues accruing above a reference benchmark oil price were saved in a special account, “Excess Crude Account” which helped to reduce macro-economic volatility.
Ngozi introduced the practice of publishing each state's monthly financial allocation from the Federal Government of Nigeria in the newspapers. This action went a long way in increasing transparency in governance.
With the support of the World Bank and the IMF to the Federal Government of Nigeria, she helped build an electronic financial management platform-the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), helping to curtail corruption in the process. Over 62,890 ghost workers were eliminated from the system and saved the Nigerian government about $1.25 billion in the process.
She was also instrumental in helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poors in 2006.
As Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolios in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.
She spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008 – 2009 food crises and later during the financial crisis. In 2010, she was chair of the IDA replenishment, World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low-interest credit for the poorest countries in the world.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was recently named on the board of Twitter.
She is also a senior adviser at Lazard and chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).
The former state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also eyeing the job.
As governor, Daniel, 62, is remembered for implementing programmes centred on Public-Private Partnership which attracted several businesses to the State during his tenure.
As the director-general of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Daniel played a key role in selling the former vice president to delegates of the party prior to his emergence on Saturday.
Atiku had said: “I am in no doubt OGD [Otunba Gbenga Daniel] is a very positive and welcome addition to our campaign and I look forward to working with him as he leads our campaign to victory in February 2019.”
Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeiazu, could also emerge as Atiku's running mate for the race to Aso Villa in 2019.
According to a source, Ikpeazu is being considered to "pacify" the South East "which has been marginalized by the Buhari administration".
The source also noted that Atiku's running mate would emerge after due consultations with PDP leaders "so as not to cause any friction or crisis" within the party.