While some governors elected on the platform of governing All Progressives Congress (APC) are moving against the zoning of 2023 Presidential ticket of the party to the South, a chieftain of the party in Kebbi State, Mallam Salihu Isa Nataro, has disclosed that the search for a suitable Vice Presidential candidate has begun in earnest in the north.
Mallam Nataro noted that; “a consensus is steadily building among the progressive members of the politicalclass, who are fair, just, equitable and continue to believe in one united and strong Nigeria that the Presidency should go South.”
Nataro, who spoke to The Guardian, yesterday, on telephone, said patriotic and fair-minded northerners are in favour of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo becoming the 2023 APC presidential candidate.
While expressing the hope that Osinbajo would eventually become the next President of the country , Nataro remarked that as a partisan and a knowledgeable APC insider, he knows that the challenge to the north is to find a loyal and dutiful running mate to the current Vice President.
His words: “This development is hardly surprising. Osinbajo simply has no problem, as Nigerians would key into his usual jocularity. The man has nearly all what it takes to make a very good president for Nigeria. He is humble, almost self-effacing, a team player, a loyal follower of his principal and above all, very intelligent and self-controlled.
“Beyond this, he is not loud at all, which is very unlike most politicians in Nigeria and elsewhere in the tempestuous democratic world. He is simply just the type of man that can heal the high political temperature in the country right now in which a stranger to Nigeria may feel that the country will break up the next day.
“Even in the fold of the man popularly known as the National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from whence he came to national limelight, who used to think that it will be both a betrayal and an embarrassment if Osinbajo puts himself forward or some other group pushes him forward for the coveted seat, there is a softening of position in favour of Osinbajo.”
Nataro, who aspired for the governorship contest in Kebbi State, declared that many top-notchers within the Jagaban’s camp are beginning to agree with the rest of other Nigerians that Osinbajo is more suitable.
“They are of the opinion that if APC picks Osinbajo, the party would have still kept faith with the Southwest geo-political zone that helped the party to victories in 2015 and 2019, after all Osinbajo belongs to both.
“If, as it seems likely, Osinbajo emerges as the APC candidate for the 2023 presidential election, who then from the North, is going to partner him as running mate? There is a surfeit of choices, like the current Borno Governor Babagana Zulum and FCT Minister Muhammed Bello, who are already being screened,” he stated.
Nataro disclosed that; “either of the two has one thing or two that can make them good complement to the personality and mentality of Osinbajo for a good working relationship that will conduce to the good governance and development of Nigeria.
“But, as our people usually say in their proverb, even when you have two things, one of them will surely be better than the other. And in this analysis, the operational word is suitability. Whom, among the two and many others out there yet to come into reckoning will be the most suitable to partner Osinbajo and provide that working synergy that will take Nigeria to the next level?”
Throwing further light on the quiet search for a suitable northern VP on APC platform, Nataro who is still interested in the governorship race, revealed that “for a state like Borno that has been wrecked by over 11 years of Boko Haram insurgency and which has been blessed by an action-oriented man like Babagana Zulum.
Nataro said the current FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, (aka, Babangida) is humble, hard -working, intelligent and with quiet mien. Bello comes across to many as someone tailor-made to work as a deputy to a man like Osinbajo or anyone else.
“He has the non-threatening personality. He is not the belligerent fire- spitting type.
On why the early search, Nataro said: It is also to show that the north is committed to ensuring that APC maintains its winning streak come 2023, stressing that if party men and women are carefully schooled and influenced to first vote Osinbajo at the APC presidential primary, then it would be easy for Osinbajo and the rest of other stakeholders to be persuaded to pick an able deputy and both would be marketed to Nigerians as the best hands that will steady the Nigerian ship in its present stormy waters.”