Things are taking shape ahead of Nigeria's general elections.

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Friday announced that a former Governor of Anambra State,  Peter Obi, would be his running mate in the 2019 presidential race.

The choice was made days after Abubakar won the ticket of the PDP in a presidential primary election held in Rivers State and adjudged credible.

After choosing Mr Obi, the former Vice President gave reasons for his choice of the man from south east Nigeria.

1. Age

The former Governor of Anambra State is 57 years while Atiku Abubakar is 71.

Nigerians are clamoring for young and vibrant people in the position of leadership who they expect to be in tune with the plight of the youthful population.

The choice of Obi is to complement Atiku’s age which is very near that of the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku will need a young and vibrant man to be able to minister to the youths and do the duties that require strength of a younger person.

This youthfulness was also emphasised in the statement of the Director General of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Gbenga Daniel, which gave reasons for the choice of Mr Obi.

2. Knowledge Of Global Economics

One thing that the former Governor of Anambra State has going for him is his vast knowledge in fields related to business management.

This will come handy in the revamping of Nigeria's economy that government has promised to achieve, without much visible strides.

“This ticket will be able to steer our nation back on the path of progress, economic prosperity,” Mr Daniel wrote.

Mr Obi has studied in different schools, acquiring knowledge that will be of benefit to Nigeria when properly deployed as a Vice President.

“Peter Obi is an astute professional who has laid his footprints across the corporate world.

“He was the Chairman, Board of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC); former Chairman, Fidelity Bank PLC; former Chairman, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank; former Chairman, Future Views Securities; former Chairman, Paymaster Nigeria; former Chairman, Next International Nigeria; former Director, Guardian Express Bank PLC; former Director, Chams Nigeria PLC; former Director, Emerging Capital: former Director, Card Centre PLC.

“He is a member of the British Institute of Directors (IOD), Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG),” the statement by Mr Daniel read.

3. Public Service Experience

In public service, Mr Obi has presided over the affairs of one of Nigeria’s biggest commercial cities, Anambra State, and that experience, according to Mr Abubakar, contributed to why he was chosen.

He was not only a Governor in Anambra State, but has also been involved in the running of Nigeria’s economy at one point or the other.

Mr Obi understands the situation on ground and will be able to complement Atiku’s knowledge and experience, which the man from the north gathered as a Vice President under the leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo.

“In public service, he has led various divisions some of which include: Member, Presidential Economic Management Team; Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum,” the statement read.

4. Vast Educational Exploit

Nigeria’s education standard has continued to decline, with the nation consistently falling short of budgetary allocation specified by UNESCO.

A nation is as developed as its education sector and the choice of a man that had given a better part of his life chasing knowledge, as a running mate, may have been targeted at ensuring that the education sector in Nigeria received needed attention.

Nigerian top politicians and business men have consistently sent their children abroad to study, as a result of the slide in the standard of education in the oil-rich nation.  

“He is a graduate of several international and national institutions such as the Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, Institute of Management, Switzerland, Kellogg Graduate School, Oxford University and Cambridge University,” the statement further read.

This vast education background may also be a subtle way of getting the love of people from the western part of Nigeria whose love for education has been outstanding. 

Beyond Atiku’s Reasons

One thing that Nigerians have always talked about is the perceived division in the land which has been blamed on marginalisation, ethnicity, politics and religious differences, among others.

This division had in 2017 heightened in the South East region of Nigeria, with a group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, which has now been proscribed, ringing the bell of cessation.

This push has consistently reoccurred after a war to push for extraction of the region from Nigeria was fought between 1967 and 1970.

This may have influenced the choice of Peter Obi who is from the region.

5. Quenching All Cessation Agitation  

It will be the first time since 2016 that a man from the East will be in the Presidency, should Atiku and Peter win the 2019 election.

It has been part of the agitation of people from the East.

Being the third major language in Nigeria, they have clamoured to lead the nation, but there is a general insinuation that an Igbo man ruling Nigeria would mean the actualisation of the Biafra dream.

Mr Obi will now serve as a bridge between the possibility of an Igbo man being in the position of power in Nigeria since current democratic dispensation began in 1999.

This choice will surely seal Atiku Abubakar’s support from the region that ensured he emerged winner during the primary election.

He had promised the region that his administration would seek the restructuring of Nigeria which had also been part of their demand from the government of Buhari.

6. Love From South South

Beyond getting the votes from the East, the Southern part of Nigeria where the Black Gold is in rich quantity needs an assurance, not the type Davido gave to Chioma that rumours of infidelity are tearing apart now, but the kind that will reach every part of the region that provides Nigeria a huge amount of its revenue.

Their daughter will bring this assurance home.  

Mr Obi’s wife Margaret, is from the southern part of Nigeria and that will surely bring something to the table as far as support from that region for the duo is concerned.

With this combination, the Peoples Democratic Party may well be on its way to giving the current administration of the All Progressives Congress a decent run in 2019, having put together a combination that will increase the love between the people from the northern, southern and eastern parts of Nigeria.  

The west is there for them to woo with a conviction of giving Nigerians good governance.

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