Ibidapo Balogun, Abuja
The rumour mill had been awash with speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan would drop Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate in the 2015 election.
The Vice President was even alleged to be lacking in political weight to galvanise the President’s electoral chances in the North.
Some names were being touted as possible replacements as running mates, among them Peoples Democratic Party Chairman Ahmadu Mua’zu, Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema and Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda.
But all along, President Jonathan’s body language had always shown he would prefer to continue to work with his loyal deputy.
In his acceptance speech after his candidature was ratified by the Yes votes of all the party’s delegates gathered at Eagle Square, Abuja on Thursday, he gave reasons why he picked Vice President Sambo as his running mate.
He described Sambo in very effusive words, saying he is “a loyal and tested partner”.
After thanking his wife Dame Patience Jonathan for her invaluable support and for keeping the home front, he thanked the Vice President and his wife thus: “I also want to thank, the Vice President, my brother, Arch Namadi Sambo, and his dear wife. You have both provided loyal support and commitment to this presidency; working with you for our people, has been a pleasure”.
He invited the party’s chairman Mua’zu and Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, Senate President David Mark and his wife, Sambo and his wife and the First Lady to the podium and raising up Sambo’s hand, the President said: “I seize the opportunity of this occasion to formally announce that as we commence the campaign for the 2015 Presidential elections, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo, a loyal and tested partner, a dependable, trustworthy gentleman and a true patriot will be my running mate and Vice Presidential candidate once again.
“With your continued support and the blessing of God Almighty, Vice President Sambo and I will campaign together to win another resounding victory for our great party in the coming elections”.