OrderPaperToday – Insights have emerged as to why the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, overlooked Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in the choice of his running mate for the 2019 elections.
OrderPaperNG gathered from authoritative sources that Ekweremadu would have been a liability to the Atiku campaign over his alleged corruption baggage upon which the federal government is already in court.
Recall that the PDP presidential candidate on Friday picked former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate ahead of Ekweremadu, former minister of finance and Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, all of whom were touted for the position.
Apart from Mr. Obi’s sterling credentials and the value of being from the South-east geo-political zone of the country which gave him an upper hand, the Atiku team was disinclined towards Ekweremadu because of he could easily be targeted to disorient the campaign, a reliable source told OrderPaperNG.
Recall that the the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation recently dragged Ekweremadu to court on behalf of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) oer his refusal to declare his assets to the panel.
There have also been allegations of ownership of foreign assets including properties linked to the deputy senate president in countries abroad, although charges have not been formally brought against him.
Mr. Ekweremadu has also been in and out of court with President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, over charges of alleged forgery of the Senate Rules and Standing Orders in 2015.
In contrast, Mr. Obi is devoid of any such alleged corruption taint, an attribute which swayed the decision to pick as running mate to the PDP candidate, a development the top legislator and some core party faithfuls are said to be unhappy with.
The PDP hierarchy is however said to doing much to quell the disenchantment that has arisen over the issue, another source informed this newspaper.