By FLORENCE ONUEGBU
LAGOS- Dr. Robert Ebelo, the Executive Secretary, Guardians of Leadership and Democracy (GLD) says the emergence of three presidential candidates provide broader option of choices for Nigerians.
GLD is a pro-democracy group with focus on leadership, good governance, sustainable democracy, innovation and human capital development.
Ebelo said in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, that Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Bola Tinubu (APC) and Peter Obi (Labour Party), with both private and public sector experience, have presented Nigerians a broader option of choices to make in the 2023 Presidential election.
He said that this contrasted with the norm in the past, where the race was always reduced to a two-horse race, with one horse being the dominant one, making the contest too easy to call.
According to him, what is next for the political parties is to get running mates for their flag-bearers.
Since the election of Atiku on May 28, as PDP standard bearer in the 2023 presidential election, the choice of his running mate has become a major issue among the party leadership, as well as the task of unifying the party.
Ebelo said that this made the group to conduct a straw poll for the possible and suitable running mate for the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said that the poll (online and offline) had favoured Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as the most suitable within the party, to help Atiku win the 2023 presidential election.
Ebelo said that four notable PDP governors, namely Okowa, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, were put forward in the poll, which deliberately targeted respondents from among the voting public.
”While Okowa polled 44 per cent of total votes, Ugwuanyi polled 28 per cent with Udom and Makinde polling 17 and 11 per cent respectively.
”Many respondents to the poll conducted (online and offline) across diverse categories of Nigerians, advised Atiku to pick a running mate with a track record of performance and someone without the baggage of corruption.
”Criteria considered include antecedents of candidates in education, healthcare delivery, intra and inter-party harmony skill, infrastructure development, temperament, job and wealth creation vision, zonal suitability, among other human development indices,” he said.
On Wednesday, Atiku held meeting with some governors of the party, where the issue of running mate and cohesion among party members were discussed.
Straw poll, also known as straw ballot, is usually an ad hoc poll carried out to determine the slant of opinion on an issue or popularity of an individual or group of persons within a community.
In modern political communication and marketing, it has become an effective quickfire tool to gauge popularity of issues or suitability of persons for a position.
The group has in the past conducted straw poll (both online and offline) on several national issues and on popularity of categories of Nigerians for certain offices, including whether Nigeria should adopt the Parliamentary system of government or continue with the extant Presidential system. (NAN)