He made the announcement on Friday at an event in Abuja, saying the decision followed a series of consultations with stakeholders.
“I thank all those gathered here today,” Obi said in his address. “They will bear witness and lay claim to being present on the day when the journey to Nigeria’s rebirth began. It is my honour to inform you, my fellow Nigerians and especially the OBIdients that finally, after very long and wide consultations, we in the Labour Party have found an eminently qualified Nigerian who will be my partner as we embark on our march to a secure, united and productive Nigeria.
“I have the distinct honour of presenting to you, my friend and running mate, and God willing, the next Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, who has been described as ‘one of Nigeria’s youngest and brightest personalities’ who has distinguished himself in various areas of human endeavours.”
Baba-Ahmed represented Zaria in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007, and later Kaduna North senatorial district between 2011 and 2012.
According to Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, the vice-presidential candidate brings to the mission great personal, academic and entrepreneurial strengths, as well as impeccable credentials with the added value of rich experience as an academician, businessman, public servant, economic and development expert, and politician.
He described Baba-Ahmed as a recognised wealth creator and manager who fits well into the mould of a transformative and adaptive leader.
“Today, I will not dwell too much on our national challenges. Yet, I will be remiss to gloss over them completely,” the presidential candidate stated. “These are extremely difficult times for our country. Nigeria straddles the lowest rungs of the global development indices. We are hugely indebted and the poverty capital of the world. Nigerians are hungry and angry and fed up with bad leadership. Times like this do not call for politics of business as usual.
“As I have always said, my vision and mission is to give full expression to our democracy by moving our country from consumption to production. Now that the presidential team is complete, we will in the days ahead, unveil our governance principles, priorities, and programmes for turning Nigeria around, which shall be anchored on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
“Securing, uniting, and making Nigeria productive require steady and trusted hands. I am confident that with Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed by my side, we shall ensure that in moving Nigeria forward, no state or community will be left behind. Pursuant to its statutory responsibility to protect, our government will promote the rule of law, ensure that governance is inclusive, cost-effective, transformative, less transactional, and national investments regenerative.
“Finally, with human capital development as the core premise, we will pursue proactively, well-articulated strategies and intrusive policy coordination and implementation, aimed at tackling the key challenges that are routine and of utmost concern to domestic and foreign investors.”