2023: Atiku picks Okowa as running mate

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has announced Delta State 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, on Thursday.

Affirming Okowa’s choice, Atiku in a post on his social media account wrote: “I am delighted to announce Governor @IAOkowa as my Vice Presidential candidate. I look forward to travelling our great country together, engaging with all Nigerians and building a shared future of peace, unity, and prosperity for all. As One We Can Get It Done. #OneNigeria.”

Earlier before arriving at Okowa’s choice, the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, had informed of the setting up of a 17-member committee by the party to pick a running mate for Atiku.

While he also told the media that the committee had submitted three names to Atiku to choose from, he said Atiku had the final say on his preferred choice.

Before he finally settled for Okowa as his running mate, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike had been touted to emerge, as both Okowa and Wike, were among names being mentioned as prospective running mates to the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Meanwhile, Governor Okowa has visited the PDP’s headquarters in Abuja, to attend the party’s vice presidential screening.

He was seen being welcomed by party members into the building with them congratulating him.

Only on Tuesday, June 15, 2022, when the news of the choice of Wike as Atiku’s running mate went viral and later, there was a twist to his emergence, the PDP came out to deny reports 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,” this was said in a statement signed by PDP’s spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba.

He further stated that: “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.”