When news broke that the Labour Party had gotten a Vice Presidential candidate, many people were worried about the impact the man will bring to the Peter Obi train.
Some had expected Peter Obi to go after “El Rufai” or “Lamido Sanusi.”
I’ve seen people ask “Who’s Yusuf Baba-Ahmed?” I’ve also seen people asking “what’s the advantage in making Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed the running mate of Peter Obi?”
He might not be the type you always see on the headlines of tabloids, but he’s more relevant than some of the men popular in the politics the media houses project. This is certain, given the way the common northerners see him.
Firstly, the Labour Party needs a Northern Stronghold which should help in their campaign and safeguard their votes. The numbers from the North will matter in the upcoming election, so the Party needs a fair share of those numbers. It would be easier to get votes in other parts of the federation without much stress, so they need to be sure of navigating the stressful part. Having a Northern Vice-President was a good option.
Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed can give them reasonable numbers.
Secondly, he’s from the prominent Baba-Ahmed family of Zaria. Baba-Ahmed graduated from the University of Maiduguri and is versatile in the politics of Kaduna State.
Thirdly, he’s well-known in the hearts of most common men. His transparency and advocacy in state matters made him overthrow the incumbent years ago.
Baba-Ahmed was elected as a House of Representatives member for Zaria in 2003; while in the position, he became known for speaking out against corruption and the Third Term Agenda. He ran under the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) platform. He was said to be vociferous and one of the leading figures who opposed the third-term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Reports also had it that in April 2011 elections, Baba-Ahmed polled 366,398 votes in the contest for Senator for Kaduna North. Runner-up Senator Ahmed Makarfi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the incumbent, polled 365,043 votes.
He still influences the North because of his stance on the affairs of the common man.
Fourthly, Senator Baba-Ahmed is currently the Managing Director, Baze Research & Data Service Ltd, Chairman, Baze Construction Ltd, Pro-Chancellor, Baze University, Abuja, and founder Baze University Hospital, Abuja.
Reports have it that his companies employ a total of over 1000 people including expatriates, and highly skilled professional Nigerians from the Diaspora.
All of these are different from his wealth of experience gathered in First Bank where he was a Banking Officer.
This makes him one of the Captains of Industries. For a man who has achieved all these, it would be easy to make certain Captains of Industries join him, seeing that he’s a man that wouldn’t let the walls of their businesses fall like the current government is doing.
The youths see him as a vibrant man who has excelled in academics and business. Such a person can aid Peter Obi in restructuring the academic system of the country. Baze University is one of the prominent private universities in Nigeria, and when one sees the quality of education being received by students, it will be evident that the Federal Universities could be made to sit up under him.
Datti has a good reputation than most northern elites, and that’s his power, apart from his positive influence in the academics and business sector of the economy.
Having a great network in Abuja will also help the Labour Party, as Baba-Ahmed is well-respected there.
For a man who left APC because they lied about the state of the Boko Haram group – the Presidency had claimed that they had clamped down the terrorist group, but it was a lie – and who had consistently stated why the government should apologize to the public for spreading false news, it would be easy to win the heart of common Nigerians who want things done the right way.
The same man decided to leave PDP when he found out that
delegates were being bought with money – he had left APC because of corruption and had expected PDP to be different, but that wasn’t so.
People knowing that he’s a man with an extremely less tendency to be corrupt would come out to vote for OBIYUSUF.
Written by: Edward Amah