A Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is confident that he would be elected as Nigeria’s next president in 2023. Atiku is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but some governors of the party are not happy with his decision to jettison the recommendation made to his as choice of running mate.
A select committee headed by Deputy National Chairman (North) Ambassador Umar Damagum, reportedly recommended Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as Atiku’s running mate. But the former vice president chose Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor, instead. Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who is one of the governors rooting for Wike as running mate, said he was not happy that Atiku ignored the recommendation made to him.
The governor, who said he was a member of the committee that recommended Wike, revealed that 14 out of the 17-member committee voted in favour of Rivers’ governor. “You cannot ignore decision of a committee you set up by yourself and expect people to be happy. For now, I have gone into hibernation. “I am in hibernation.
I am praying. When I finish the prayers and whatever God directs me, I will do. “We expect Atiku to do more but we are not seeing that,” he said. But an aide of the former vice president who asked not to be named, said Atiku is not under pressure. According to him: “We are focused on our candidate.
Every opponent is a threat but I assure you, Atiku will win the presidential election.” He however stated that the major problem the campaign would face will be in Lagos and Rivers States, where there are many South Easterners. “In core South East states, we are sure of 25 percent (votes), even if (Peter) Obi wins.
“There are many things I don’t want to talk about, but one thing is certain, we are talking with APC (All Progressives Congress) governors from the North. “We are not going to be on the offensive; we are not going to attack Obi. He was our running mate in 2019,” he said. The source expressed confidence that Wike would deliver Rivers votes to Atiku, adding, “he has a governorship candidate to deliver. So, he will work for Atiku. I’m sure before the election, the problems will be settled.”
He said he was not surprised at the outburst of former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, because “he is working for Tinubu.” “But many people from the North don’t want him (Tinubu). The Northerners know him. So, it may be anybody but Tinubu,” he said. Ortom said on a national television programme that he was among the 17-member committee set up by Atiku “and 14 of us in the committee said the person should be Wike. “Unfortunately, Atiku picked Okowa.
That is his wisdom. The governor stated that Wike is a pillar in the PDP, and argued that, “Currently, nobody in the party has contributed more for the party to move forward than Wike .
“If Atiku was not going to honour the decision of the committee, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that. “You can’t do things anyhow and expect us to be happy. Atiku should go to him. Why won’t he ignore their calls. Is that not an insult?”