The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has finally revealed why he picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate instead of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Atiku Reveals Why He Choose Okowa Over Wike
KanyiDaily had reported that Atiku’s decision to name Okowa as his running mate instead of Wike whom the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) recommended for the position had created a fissure within the main opposition party.
Reacting to the controversy during a chat with Arise TV on Friday, Atiku said he opted for Okowa instead of Wike because he wanted someone that could “deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country”.
Atiku, who described Wike as an influential politician who has a good future in Nigerian politics, noted that he did not reject the governor.
He said, “The committee that was set up at my own instance deliberated. There was no vote, and they recommended three names, because they knew it was my prerogative to pick anyone of the three. So, there was actually no vote. It’s not true.
“He Governor Ortom himself chaired that committee. He knew there was no vote taken, and I have the report of that committee. The committee recommended three people and I picked one. I did not go out of that recommendation. So, I think people should be fair to me and should also state the fact.”
He said, “Governor Wike was not rejected. Nobody was rejected in the party. But you must understand that it’s the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate — a running mate he believes he can work with amicably, and then also deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country.
“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He’s courageous, tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country. It’s not a question of rejection. Certainly, not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected governor Wike. Certainly not.”
“We are reaching out to Governor Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.
“We are talking to his governor colleagues.I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on,” he added.
This comes a few hours after Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom revealed that Atiku Abubakar reached out to him to pacify Governor Nyesom Wike over the PDP crisis.