Following the nomination of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have given reasons for his choice.
According to closed sources, the former vice-president Atiku preferred Okowa over Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, who was recommended by the national working committee (NWC).
Speaking at the PDP headquarters, Atiku said he opted for the Delta governor because he meets “all or most of the qualities” he desires.
“In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our governors, national working committee, board of trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom,” he said.
“In these consultations, I made clear that my running mate would have the potential to succeed me at a moment’s notice, that is, a president-in-waiting.
“In other words, the person must have the qualities to be president. The person must have an appreciation of the deep rot which our country has been put into by the rudderless APC government; understands the great suffering that most of our people are going through and the urgency of relieving them of that suffering; understand the critical importance of economic growth and development to provide our young people with jobs, hope, and a pathway to wealth.
“The person must appreciate the critical importance of education in the development of modern societies so we can prepare our young people to be able to compete in the increasingly competitive and globalized world.
“My running mate must understand that without security, the development will be very difficult because local and foreign investors who have been scared away already, would not return to invest in our economy. Thus, my running mate will be a person who will stand by me as I confront the frightening level of insecurity in our land.
“In addition, my running mate has to be someone who is not afraid to speak his mind and give honest advice, and, be by my side as I work very hard to reverse the destructive impact of the past seven years of the APC government.
“I have sought for the support, guidance, and counsel of the PDP in selecting a befitting running mate who meets all or most of the qualities enumerated above. The wisemen and sages of the party, put together by our NWC, have gone fishing and brought home an enviable group of awesome politicians that surpasses these qualities.
“Every one of the recommended persons is a fit and proper individual to hold this office. While this makes me marvel at the bundle of talents that abounds in our party, it also compounded my task of choosing a single person from among them.
“Let me, therefore, pay tribute to my party and, most especially, to all those that made the shortlist that must now be narrowed down to a single person. They are all dedicated party-men suitable for this task. I wish all the recommended persons could be announced today as my running mates. Unfortunately, only one must be chosen.
“It is a difficult decision that I am called upon to take. But, as someone hoping to lead a complex country such as ours, tough and difficult decisions would remain a part of my everyday life.
“Accordingly, let me state that the person I have chosen as my running mate possesses all those identified qualities. He 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.