2023 Presidency: Too risky to have someone with Wike’s temperament as VP – Source

Access Bank
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, emerged as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, following intense horse-trading of party bigwigs that knocked off Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who had been the front runner for the slot for two weeks.

“The person I have chosen as my running mate personifies not only the seriousness the current moment represents for our country but also the future that our young people yearn for and deserve. He is a serving state governor, who has demonstrated, in his state and through his conduct that governance is about service to the people.

“I know that he will not only add excitement to our already energized ticket and campaign but also help to bring focus, discipline and stability to our government, come 2023. He has both legislative and executive experience,” the PDP presidential standard-bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said while unveiling Senator Okowa as his running mate.

Accepting his nomination, Okowa said the PDP presidential candidate has answers to Nigeria’s numerous challenges, adding that Wike is a good party man and will not be disappointed that Atiku Abubakar did not pick him.

Okowa’s emergence drew cheers from many sections of the polity, yesterday with Second Republic governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, saying the Delta State governor will represent the South-East and South-South geo-political zones in the Atiku administration.

Immediate past National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who lost the chairmanship after a fall-out with Wike, said with the Atiku-Okowa ticket, PDP’s return journey to Aso Villa had begun.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, also hailed Okowa’s emergence just as Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo Okowa’s described acceptance of his nomination was a betrayal of trust.

Factors that worked against Wike

Wike was close to being selected but that last-minute politicking and some crucial factors swayed Atiku Abubakar to pick Okowa as his running mate.

Although the selection committee set up to assist Atiku to pick a running mate was predominantly and favourably disposed to Wike, the presidential candidate opted for Okowa, who he felt is level-headed and had the right temperament to add value to the ticket. A reliable party source said that Atiku held meetings which lasted into the early hours of “this morning (yesterday).”

The source said: “The candidate has to prove very early enough that he is his own man. The decision for him to pick Okowa was made easy by the fact that he was on the list of those short-listed. There were also pressures from powerful interests who cited Wike’s hard stance on issues of taxation, especially concerning the Rivers State court case against the Federal Government, on Value Added Tax, VAT.

“Because the Vice-President will be in charge of the economy, several people felt it would be too risky to have someone with Wike’s temperament in charge. There is also the issue of legislative liaison. The candidate (Atiku) explained and rightly too that Okowa, who was a senator, is better placed to build synergy between legislators and the executive.”

It was also gathered that members of the panel had voted in favour of Wike with the firm belief that choosing him would further unite the party.

Show More

One Comment

  1. I thought they were ignorant of this fact. Wike is lord. He commands authority and cannot play that silent part. Nah nah.

    I thought they were ignorant of this fact. Wike is a ‘lord’. That position will not be comfortable for him to express himself. VP’s role demands a lot of humility and condescending. Not Wike we know. Anyways, good luck to them. As for me, on Labour Party I stand 🧍‍♀️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button