The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, particularly, the National Working Committee (NWC) are going to be deeply involved in finding an acceptable running mate for its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The party chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu and the presidential candidate met with governors of the party on Wednesday evening at the PDP Presidential Campaign Office, Legacy House, Abuja.
The meeting was the first major convergence of the governors with the party leadership after the May 29 conclusion of its special national convention in which Atiku emerged.
Ayu said the meeting continues this weekend until the party pick “someone with large acceptability” that will go into the 2023 presidential contest with Atiku Abubakar.
The national chairman said “the issue of finding a running mate is as important as that of electing the candidate and our party is not leaving no stone unturned.
“There are a lot of consideration that goes into this process and we have to critically look into each consideration.
“The main focus of the PDP is to rescue power from the ruling APC that has bastardized governance and traumatized Nigerians. And to achieve our aim, we need to choose right and choosing right entails wide consultation.
“But I want to assure our teeming members and Nigerian at large that our choice will reflect their aspirations”.
In a very brief address after the meeting, the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal said the meeting dissected the outcome of the presidential primary.
When asked if the meeting discussed the issue of vice presidential candidate, he accepted that it was one issue on the front burner.
Tambuwal simply said, “it is part of the consultation, it’s ongoing and governors are also being consulted on that.”
There has been anxiety on who will be Atiku’s running mate, a decision which could not be left to the candidate alone to decide.
Top on the list of possible vice presidential candidate are; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Nyeson Wike of Rivers, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
The name of the former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha came up immediately after the convention but it was learnt that the name was dropped for being a feeble consideration. The name of the former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanule Eweta Uduaghan is also top on the list.
Another twist to the contest is the mentioning of the name of the former Finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
But, this is doubtful as there is little possibility that Iweala may leave her international appointment at the World Trade Center (WTO) for the vice president job.
The governors are likely to meet again on Friday to fine tune the nomination of one of them as Atiku’s running mate.
Tambuwal further said stakeholders at the meeting expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the convention and commended the leadership and members for the success.
“The national chairman along with the candidate came to thank the governors for their roles at the convention.
“We talked about cooperation and collaboration in prosecuting a very successful electioneering campaign that will result in victories for the PDP at various elections from the state house of assembly, national election, governorship and the presidential election come February 2023.
” It is more of a consultative meeting on matters concerning the way forward.”