Atiku dumps Wike, chooses Okowa as running mate for presidential election
Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has announced Delta State governor as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku announced Okowa’s nomination on Thursday at an unveiling event of his running mate held in Abuja.
Okowa will thereafter be screened by a committee set up by PDP national working committee.
Atiku said making a choice between the three names had been a difficult decision.
He noted 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.
PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu had said a 17-member committee was set up by the party to pick a running mate for Atiku.
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He said the committee had submitted three names that including Okowa, Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike and Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel. to Atiku.
Ayu, however, said the final decision on the party’s vice-presidential candidate was for Atiku to make.
The Guardian gathered that NWC members voted 13-3 to endorse the report of the stakeholders’ panel which had earlier nominated Wike to be Atiku’s running mate. Okowa got only three votes.
Amid rumours that Atiku might not settle for Wike, who came second during the presidential primary election, PDP spokesman Debo Ologunagba said the Rivers State governor was still in the 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,” Ologunagba said in a statement.
“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.”