Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has announced Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate. This happened soon after Doyin Okupe, the running mate “placeholder,” announced his withdrawal.
Even though Peter Obi’s decision has received many commendable compliments on social media, many individuals still believe he made the wrong decision.
Popular sociopolitical pundit Deji Adeyanju sees Obi’s selection of Baba-Ahmed as his running mate as political suicide.
Adeyanju said in a Facebook post that a coalition with the NNPP would have had a greater impact.
He wrote: “It is political suicide to pick a VP candidate who cannot deliver something as ordinary as his LGA for you in a presidential election. Anyways, everyone will wake up from the social media delusion soon.
“Kwankwaso can deliver his state, and many former Govs will also do well. When we criticize, we are doing so with a deep understanding of Nigeria. One thing is clear now, this is nothing serious but just a social media good feeling presidency dream.”
Here are 5 things you should know about Peter Obi’s presidential running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
1. Early life
In the 1970s, Datti Baba-Ahmed was born into the Baba-Ahmed family in Zaria. He is one of Baba Ahmed’s 33 offspring.
Baba Ahmed was an Arab cattle dealer from present Mauritania. He subsequently rose to prominence as a lecturer and authority on Islamic law.
Baba-Ahmed graduated from the University of Maiduguri in Borno State with a BSc and an MSc in Economics. Before entering politics, he worked in security printing and minting in Lagos.
He obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 2006 after finishing his PhD studies at the University of Westminster. While this was ongoing, he also served as a federal representative.
2. Baze University
Baze University, an independent institution, was founded by Ahmed and he served as its provost from its April 2011 opening in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
Ahmed described the Nigerian educational system as “appalling,” using his time studying overseas as a comparison, and claimed that this motivated him to start Baze University.
3. Political career
Baba-Ahmed gained notoriety for his steadfast activism. He was one of the lawmakers that opposed allowing President Olusegun Obasanjo to run for a third term during his administration.
He declared in May 2006 that he would not seek reelection unless steps were taken to look into claims that lawmakers had been paid to support the constitutional amendments required for the third term in office.
He sued the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2007 on issues surrounding how previous elections were handled. He was renowned for his anti-corruption stance.
4. Senatorial career
Baba-Ahmed received 366,398 votes in the race for Kaduna North senator in the April 2011 elections. The incumbent senator and runner-up Senator Ahmed Makarfi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) received 365,043 votes.
Baba-Ahmed ran for and won the Kaduna North Senate seat in 2011 while running for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which was then led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the election was contested in court by the PDP candidate, which resulted in Ahmed’s contentious victory being overturned.
5. He ran for the PDP presidential slot
He unsuccessfully sought the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential nomination in 2018. He recently failed in his bid to represent the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections for governor of Kaduna State.
He was appointed in July 2022 to serve as the Labour Party’s running mate for vice president in the 2023 general election in Nigeria.
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