Panic in PDP over APC choice of Vice President

The choice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) VP, is said to have sent the ruling party PDP to the drawing board.

With the choice of the Lawyer-pastor, Yemi Osinbajo as the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari's running mate, PDP camp is said to have developed serious headaches.

Some undisclosed sources confirmed that the president is jittery over the choice of professor of Law and former Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State.

It was gathered that the ruling party was building its campaign against the APC on the following pillars:

1. Should the APC go for a Muslim/Muslim ticket, then the PDP will capitalize on it as being insensitive to Nigeria's religious affiliations.

2. If the PDP go for a southwest candidate, it will make it difficult for them to win the zone's sympathy. but now, APC has picked a son in-law of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who is highly revered even beyond the zone.

With choice of Osinbajo, every plan to launch any attack on the person of the APC Presidential running mate is now dismantled.

PDP have plotted to latch on the religious factor to win the sympathy of Nigerians during the campaign for 2015 presidency, believing that APC will opt for Muslim/Muslim ticket.

According to sources, PDP leaders were shocked that APC chose a running mate without rancor, and that has send the ruling party to the drawing board.

Series of consultations has been going on within the presidency and the PDP leadership since Osibajo was named.

A top source said: "There was gloom in PDP on Wednesday, following the announcement of Osinbajo. The calculation was that APC will be plunged into a crisis on the choice of its running mate, but that was not the case.

"The PDP had been looking for a slight mistake to brand APC a religious party after it could not sustain the bigot stigma on Gen. Buhari.

"Some attack dogs were on standby to hit the APC. All the plans have now failed.
Another source said: "By picking Osinbajo, the chances of PDP in the South-West have become slimmer because the party had wanted to take advantage of the political dynasty of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo to make an inroad into the region.

"The Presidency had tried to accommodate the grand son of the late sage, Mr. Segun Awolowo by making him the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council(NEPC).

"But APC has also made the late Awolowo's son-in-law as its vice-presidential candidate putting paid to any scheming by the PDP in the Southwest."

A third source said: "With the emergence of Osinbajo , the PDP has returned to the drawing board. The ruling party is now left to base its campaign on issues than sentiments."

Contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the party could not lose sleep over Osinbajo.

Metuh, who spoke with our correspondent, said: "Who is Osinbajo? He was an ordinary commissioner and we have hundreds of commissioners in the country. The APC vice- presidential candidate is an unknown individual in politics. He is not a threat to PDP. One thing I know is that if it comes to issues and performance we will win the 2015 presidential election but if it comes to throwing anarchy or chaos, the APC will have upper hand."

Parties were rushing to beat the deadline for the submission of list of presidential candidates and those contesting for seats in the National Assembly.

A director in INEC, who interacted with our correspondent last night, said: "The parties have been rushing to submit their lists. They pleaded with INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega to extend the deadline to 8pm on Thursday. Their request was granted but we will not exceed the timeline."

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday shifted the deadline for the submission of lists of candidates for the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections from December 25 to December 26.

The commission, however, declined to comment on the number of political parties, which had submitted or yet to summit the forms bearing the names of their Presidential and National Assembly candidates.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said the date was shifted because it falls on Christmas Day. Yesterday was the deadline for the submission of names of Presidential and national Assembly candidates by the parties.

He said: "For the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the deadline is Thursday December 18 by 8 pm for the submission of form CF001 and CF002.''

When asked to give the list of parties that had complied he said: "Even by tomorrow (today), you may not likely get the information from INEC because the law provides that what is being submitted today must be officially published on December 25. He said the deadline would not be extended.

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