Indications have emerged on the reasons why River state governor Nyesom Wike lost out slot of the running mate.
Findings revealed that Wike was close to being selected but certain Political permutation led to Atiku Abubakar to pick Okowa as his running mate.
Okowa’s right temperament was said to be an added up to the governor, although the selection committee set up to assist Atiku pick a running mate was initially tended to Wike, but the level-headedness of Okowa was said to have placed him above Wike .
Okowa was described as a person with the right temperament to add value to the ticket.
A reliable party source said the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar held meetings which lasted into the early hours of Thursday.
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
However, Atiku promised not to shy away from taking tough decisions to move the nation forward when voted into office in 2023.
While unveiling Okowa as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election, in Abuja, Atiku appealed for unity within the party’s rank and file as it prepares for the electioneering campaigns and elections proper.
He said: “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 decisions would remain a part of my everyday life.
“Let me, therefore, start this momentous journey with a crucial decision about who, among the eminently qualified shortlist, would be my running mate.
“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.
“I know that he will not only add excitement to our already energized ticket and campaign, but will also help to bring focus, discipline and stability to our government, come 2023.
“I am pleased, therefore, to announce here my choice of Running Mate who will help to lead us to victory next year not only in the Presidential election but also in the governorship and legislative elections. And he will be by my side as I work hard every day to provide our people with security, revive our economy, improve education and unite our country.
“He has both legislative and executive experience. Please join me in welcoming to the ticket the next Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Governor Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.” Atiku said.