The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said that he chose Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate for the 2023 elections, over Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, because of his desire to unite Nigeria.
Atiku made the revelation on Friday morning while featuring on Arise News TV breakfast show.
He said that it was the prerogative of a party’s candidate to pick his running mate especially one that he believes he or she can work it.
“If you can go through history. I was given a ticket in 2007, I picked an Igbo. I was given a ticket in 2019, I picked an Igbo. In 2022, I was given it and I picked an Igbo man again. This is just to show you my desire to unify the country,” Atiku stated.
Atiku, a former vice president, noted that his choice of Okowa was not a rejection of Wike.
He added that, “Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He is courageous; he is tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country.”
He recalled that the committee set up by the party at his instance, nominated three candidatee and requested him to exercise his prerogative of choice and he went for an Igbo man – Governor Okowa.
“So it is not a question of rejection. Certainly not. I think it is too harsh a word to say that we rejected the governor. We can certainly not say that,’’ the PDP presidential candidate added.