Nigeria: I Prefer Younger Running Mate, Not Old Politicians

“I want those who can look into my face and say, Mr President, you are wrong.’

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said he prefers picking a younger and fresh politician as his running mate.

Mr Obi said this when he appeared as a guest on Arise TV programme, The Morning Show, on Wednesday.

He said a younger person who has “something to offer” to complement his ticket would be chosen instead of bringing “an old hand” who had been in government in the past.

Doyin Okupe, whose name the party submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission as Mr Obi’s running mate in a placeholder capacity, said on Tuesday that Mr Obi and the LP would unveil a substantive vice-presidential candidate before Friday.

There have been speculations that Mr Obi had picked 67-year-old Director of Publicity and Advocacy of Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, as his running mate.

But the LP presidential candidate said although his running mate would be unveiled soon, he was yet to make a choice.

“We are talking to quite a number of people and Hakeem Baba-Ahmed is a capable hand. But I wish I can work with somebody who is younger.

“I prefer younger people who have a lot to offer rather than recycling old hands. I want a competent person and I am building a formidable team,” he said.

Asked when his manifesto would be released, Mr Obi said what he planned to do as president had been practiced during his time as governor of Anambra State. He said he intends to replicate his achievements in the state on a large scale in Nigeria if elected president.

“How can I hire professors to write or draft policy documents for me that I don’t even believe in? What I did in Anambra and what I achieved are what we will replicate on a larger scale (as Nigerian President). We want Nigeria to become the engine of production,” Mr Obi said.

“I will assemble the type of people I had in Anambra State. I told them, from day one, if you agree with me in three meetings, you will go. I want those who can look into my face and say, Mr President, you are wrong,” the former governor added.