Governor Wike has been picked as Atiku running mate for the 2023 election.
Newsonline reports that a committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, has recommended Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State as the first option for Atiku Abubakar’s running mate.
This online news platform understands that the PDP committee said Governor Wike as Atiku’s running mate for the 2023 election, will do better for the ticket than his main challengers, according to two sources quoted by Peoples Gazette, who are familiar with the decision.
According to the report, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta was recommended as the second-best politician to pair with Abubakar; while Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom was placed third.
Aminu Tambuwal, chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, endorsed the decision to prioritise Wike on the list of key vice-presidential options for Abubakar, our sources said. Governors, board of trustee members, and the national working committee officials made contributions to the list.
“They were recommended based on their individual strength,” a source said.
The running mate option has been a close contest between governors Wike and Okowa, who was initially seen as a shoo-in for Abubakar until recently when Wike began showing keen interest.
Newsonline gathered that Atiku has reportedly promised Okowa the ticket since last year, and when Wike sought the presidential ticket against him, the choice was deemed easy. But the rivalry became apparent last week when Okowa issued a statement saying only God could stop him from emerging as Atiku’s running mate.
It was not immediately clear whether or not the committee’s decision would prevail. Mr Abubakar has yet to disclose his final decision, and a spokesman did not immediately return a request seeking comments.
The report has it that there are other panels and think tanks making recommendations to Abubakar on his running mate choice, Peoples Gazette understands. The development came more than two weeks after Atiku was confirmed as the presidential candidate of the main opposition body, clearing the path for a showdown with Bola Tinubu, presidential flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress.