16th June, 2022
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections, has picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
Atiku made the announcement at a meeting attended by PDP executives at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking at the announcement event, Atiku confirmed that three names were given to him and it was very difficult to choose one.
He noted that he looked out for one who has the qualities of a president, who can stand in for him when he’s not around.
Atiku said he also picked someone who understands the enormity of the challenges facing the country and one who has demonstrated, from experience, that he can proffer some solutions.
According to him, while all the three names submitted were qualified, he had to settle for just one.
PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, on his part, said a 17-member committee had been set up by the party to pick Atiku’s running mate.
He said the committee submitted three names to the former vice-president to choose from and the final decision was solely based on Atiku.
However, Governor Nyesom Wike may be disappointed with the latest announcement by PDP and Atiku.
PDP had on Wednesday described Wike as “the foremost candidate in consideration for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the PDP.”
The party stated this while denying reports that it had ruled out Wike from the Vice Presidential race.
“If anything, our Party reiterates its confidence in Governor Nyesom Wikes’s outstanding ability and commitment to the ideals and values of the PDP,” a statement signed by the spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said.
“His records of achievement as a Local Government Chairman, Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, Minister of State for Education, currently Governor of Rivers State and the runner-up in the PDP Presidential Primary stand him out as possessing requisite qualities, qualifications, capacity and wide acceptability for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of our Party.
“The various positions creditably held by Governor Nyesom Wike distinguished him as an excellent team player in public governance.
“In fact, Governor Wike’s energy, brilliance, commitment, and passion were acknowledged by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our Party and he is adjudged as the foremost candidate in consideration for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the PDP.
“While the PDP notes the interest of the media and the public in our Party’s choice of Vice-Presidential candidate it is imperative to state that as an organic Party, all our processes will be followed through in strict adherence to our procedures before any official announcements.
“The PDP urges Nigerians to disregard the mischievous reports aimed at undermining our Party’s unity at this critical time.”