Okowa’s Choice As Atiku’s Running Mate Comes Under Attack

Okowa’s Choice As Atiku’s Running Mate Comes Under Attack

...Buhari’s kinsman emerges Tinubu’s ‘temporary’ running mate  

As the deadline for submission of candidates for the 2023 general elections closes today, the two major political parties in the country, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday picked their presidential running mates. 

While the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, picked Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling APC zeroed in on Kabir Ibrahim Masari. 

Masari’s name, it was gathered, was submitted in a hurry, in order to beat today’s deadline of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; his name would eventually be substituted after the party stakeholders must have agreed on the suitable vice-presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. 

Masari hails from the home State of President Muhammadu Buhari, Katsina. Recall that there has been strong opposition against the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket being mulled by the ruling party. 

Though some names had been mentioned as possible running-mates to the former Lagos State governor, it was gathered that no compromise had been reached yet. Peoples Democratic Party flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar said he settled for Okowa after due consultation with all organs of the party. 

He made the disclosure while addressing members of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, at the party headquarters in Abuja yesterday. Apart from Okowa, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart Udom Emmanuel were also recommended by the party for the former Vice-President to choose. 

While speaking further, he said he sought for the co-operation of others and recommended stating he settled for someone “who has the potential to succeed me”. 

“I am delighted to announce Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as my Vice-Presidential candidate. I’m pleased to announce the one that will be by my side. 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”. 

Wike, it was gathered, has proven to be a strong and fearless force in Nigeria’s politics.   

Recall that Abubakar defeated him in the presidential primary of the PDP held on Saturday, May 28. Abubakar won the presidential primary with 371 votes, while Wike polled 237 votes. 

His victory came only after some northern stalwarts, including former National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau, retd, and former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, among others prevailed on some of the northern aspirants in the race to step down for the former vice -president. 

The 2023 presidential election will be Atiku’s third attempt as flag bearer, and the fifth as an aspirant. Meanwhile, the Igbo apex socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has threatened to punish the PDP for ignoring the South-east 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 the PDP. 

Ohanaeze said, “We will teach the PDP the language they need to understand in the 2023 polls”. “No Igbo political decisions have been made so far on the 2023 election but at the appropriate time, Ndigbo will decide the political direction to go but not the PDP, for shunning the South-east, the party and the presidential flag bearer will face the consequences of his actions”.Meanwhile, the running mate, Gov Ifeanyi Okowa, has accepted the running mate position offered him by the party and the presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for the 2023 presidential election.Mr Okowa yesterday in his acceptance speech after his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja said that Atiku has solution to the numerous challenges facing the country.He said that the solutions to Nigeria’s problems as a nation lay in Mr Abubakar’s book “My Covenant With Nigeria”, and urged party members and all Nigerians to join hands with the PDP to rescue the nation from maladministration.According to him, we must create in ourselves a new approach to political issues, a new commitment which I believe we all yearn for.The vice-presidential candidate said, “It will require a lot of commitment and unity from each and every one of us in our various wards, local governments and states.“We need the PDP to return to power; we have answers to the questions because I have the opportunity of going through our presidential candidate’s book ‘My Covenant With Nigeria’. It’s something worth studying and something put together that other presidential candidates of other parties have not been able to put together.“When you go through it, you will find solutions to our problems in that document and I must appreciate our presidential candidate publicly for making this happen early enough”, Okowa said.

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