Muktar Shagari says he declined the offer to be Peter Obi’s running mate because LP does not have the needed spread to win the 2023 presidential election.
A former deputy governor of Sokoto State, Muktar Shagari, has said the vice presidential ticket of the Labour Party (LP) was offered to him, but he declined.
Mr Shagari, who served as the deputy governor from 2011-2015, said he turned down the offer because he believes that LP lacks the spread to win a presidential election.
He stated this on Tuesday while appearing on “Politics Today”, a political programme on Channels TV.
Mr Shagari stated that he was approached by some leaders of the party to serve as running mate to Peter Obi, its presidential candidate, but that he could not leave the PDP for the new party.
The LP currently has Datti Ahmed, from Kaduna State, as its vice presidential candidate.
Despite the popularity of Mr Obi and with several polls having him ahead of the other candidates, Mr Shagari said it is impossible for the former Anambra State governor to emerge as the winner in 2023.
“The Labour party contacted me and requested if I would like to be the vice presidential candidate to Peter Obi.
“And I looked at the political scenario, what the Labour Party is, and decided that I cannot be the vice presidential candidate to Peter Obi. I do not see the path through which Peter Obi will win the election in this country,” he said.
Mr Shagari stressed that the LP remains a social media frenzy, adding that the race is between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP.
“It is so clear that in areas in the South-east, and young people are shouting about him on social media – yes, it’s politics.
“But the truth of the matter is that there are two dominant parties in this country – APC and PDP. If you want to become president, I think you must belong to one of them,” Mr Shagari, a former water resources minister said.
Bloomberg news in a survey conducted by Premise Data Corp. put Mr Obi ahead of the other candidates in the presidential race to replace President Muhammadu Buhari next year.
Another poll, commissioned by ANAP Foundation, was conducted last month and suggested a three-horse presidential race between Mr Obi, Bola Tinubu of the APC and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. The poll predicted Mr Obi as a possible winner.
However, despite the polls and the popularity of the candidate among youth on social media, many have dismissed Mr Obi and the LP for lacking the needed spread to win the 25 February election.