Politics

Atiku dumps Wike, picks Okowa as running mate, gives reasons

By Adeleke Adeseri

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has nominated the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his Vice-presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.

Atiku made the announcement yesterday at a meeting attended by PDP executives at the party’s Wadata House headquarters in Abuja.

A 17-member committee had earlier been set up by the party to pick a running mate for Atiku.
The National Chairman of PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, stated that three names were submitted to Atiku to select from.

“The final decision, however, was Atiku’s choice to make,” Ayu said.

Speaking at the PDP secretariat, Atiku said making a choice between the three names had been a difficult decision to make.
He also pointed out that some of the qualities he looked out for include someone who understands the enormity of the challenges facing the country and one who has demonstrated, from experience, that he can proffer some solutions.

The PDP presidential candidate also said looked out for one who has the qualities of a President, who can stand in for him when he’s not around.

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After analysing his criteria for selection, Atiku announced that he has selected Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to be his running mate and will be the next Vice-President of Nigeria should the PDP win in 2023.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike was among the leading contenders nominated as the vice-presidential candidate. He is also said to be listed alongside Okowa for Atiku to select from.
However, Atiku decided to look away from Wike to select the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Speaking after the announcement, Okowa said winning the 2023 presidential election will require great work.
He then asked for the support and commitment of party members to the cause of winning the general election.

“I want to pledge that I will stay loyal and committed to this battle and it’s a battle God has a hand in,” he said.

According to him; “There is no doubt that there is a great work ahead for each and every one of us. The build-back process is going to be collective and we’re trusting that all our party members would want to be part of that story at the end of the day.

“The story, which will obviously be positive and we will yield positive results, will require that each and every one of us must support our principal as we move forward in the next months and that we will, at the end, win the election with a landslide victory.

“And in doing so, we must create in ourselves a new self, a new approach to political issues, a new commitment, which I believe we all yearn for. It will require a lot of commitment from each and every one of us.

“It will require the unity of each and every one of us in our various wards, local governments and states, we need the PDP to return to power.”

Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo apex socio-political organization has threatened to punish the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for ignoring the Southeast in picking the running mate of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Ohanaeze, in a statement issued by its Secretary-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said although the region is yet to decide on which party to support for the 2023 presidential election, it would not be PDP.

Ohanaeze said, “we will teach PDP the language they need to understand in the 2023 polls”.

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