Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he did not pick Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, as his running mate because he wanted someone he could work with “amicably”.
Telescope.ng reports thay the former vice-president spoke in a chat with Arise TV on Friday, July 22.
The PDP candidate had picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election, despite the party’s national working committee (NWC) endorsing Wike for the role.
The choice had created a fissure within the party, with a group of aggrieved stakeholders insisting that Wike should be picked.
Speaking on his choice of vice-presidential candidate, Atiku said he opted for Okowa instead of Wike because he wanted someone that could “deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country”.
“Governor Wike was not rejected. Nobody was rejected in the party. But you must understand that it’s the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate — a running mate he believes he can work with amicably, and then also deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country,” Atiku said.
“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He’s courageous, tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country. It’s not a question of rejection. Certainly, not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected governor Wike. Certainly not.”