PDP presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has chosen Delta State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Prior to the INEC deadline on Friday for the submission of names of party candidates and their running partners, Atiku revealed his decision on Thursday.
Okowa’s selection is a collaborative decision, he said, and the party must unite.
Ifeanyi Okowa will be Nigeria’s next vice president, Atiku announced. “Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming His Excellency Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa,” he said.
Before making his choice, he stated he discussed it with the NWC and party governors, among others.
Atiku said he chose the Delta State governor because he is a man who knows what Nigeria needs.
The party’s national working committee (NWC) had endorsed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as the top pick for the vice president.
Pressure and conspiracy against Wike prompted Atiku’s decision, according to party sources.
Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom state and Okowa were also on the 17-member committee that was tasked with selecting Atiku’s running partner.
The members of the committee chaired by Ambassador Umar Damagun had given Wike the majority of their votes.
The meeting was attended by the governors of Benue, Sokoto, and Bauchi states as well as former governors of Niger, Jigawa, and Cross Rivers states, as well as senators Adolphus Wabara and Oluwole Oke, as well as ambassadors Taofeek Arapaja and Stella Effah-Attoe and former Niger state governor Babangida Aliyu.
PDP National Secretary Sam Anyanwu; National Organising Secretary Hon. Umar Bature; former senate president David Mark; Senator Phillip Aduda; and Honourable Theophilus Shan are among the other prominent figures in attendance.
In contrast, Atiku said that all the shortlisted candidates were eminently qualified, but that only one person could be chosen.