Former acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said the party’s presidential running mate, Governor Patrick Okowa of Delta State, will support the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in finding solution to Nigeria’s economic problems.
Baraje said this in an interview while justifying the PDP’s choice of Okowa as Atiku’s running mate.
“Governor Okowa is going to support Atiku to salvage the country from the economic doldrums that we find ourselves and from the insecurity that is killing the nation.
“Governor Okowa isn’t an inconsequential personality. He is going to be a performing vice president, somebody that will give full support to the president; he is going to be a highly complementary vice president to Atiku Abubakar.
“Okowa had been a two- term commissioner and was very complimentary to his boss. He had been secretary to the government of Delta State, he was highly complementary. That was why he was invited by his people as a serving senator to come and be the governor of the state and we could see what his performances are,” Baraje said.
He expressed optimism that the electorate in the South would still vote for the PDP because of the vibrancy of the vice-presidential candidate and because, “the region is most assured of presidency with the party come 2027.
“Despite that the presidential candidates of the APC and Labour Party emerged from the South, the electorate will still go for the PDP candidate, because of reach, vibrancy and political dexterity of the PDP’s candidate and his running mate.
“Also because of the assurance that in 2027, the presidency will shift to the South and not only to the South but to the South East where we know there has been a lot of agitation and all these are parts of the criteria that PDP put into permutations before they come out with Okowa,” he added.
Baraje posited that the battle for supremacy at the polls won’t be decisive at either South or North, rather at the Central.
He predicted that series of cross-party movements will swing the pendulum in favour of the PDP.
“The battle is not in the south, there are some states that actually create some swings and Delta is one of them; Rivers and Lagos are parts of them. Coming to look at where is the battle, the battle is in the central part of the country, and I know definitely some of us coming from the central are loyalists of the PDP.
“We are sure that a lot of swings will take place in the central zone that will give PDP a positive advantage in winning the election in 2023. As far as I’m concerned, the South belongs to the PDP,” Baraje stated.