Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is the favourite to emerge as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
A former governor of Delta State and a former Senator on the platform of the PDP confirmed the development to The PUNCH on Thursday.
Also, PDP’s media team member, Emma Umeh, said Okowa would be screened and announced soon.
— Emma ik Umeh (Tcee )🇳🇬 (@emmaikumeh) June 16, 2022
Reacting to the development, a former Senator, Shehu Sani, described Okowa as a link between the South-East and South-South.
“Okowa played a key role in the victory of Atiku at the primaries and he is a cross between the South-East and the South-South. Wike strongly emerged second, committed so much to sustaining the party and his ruggedness is an asset in the battle when it turns dirty. Any can be VP,” he posted.
The PUNCH had reported that PDP will screen nominees on Thursday (today) for the vice-presidential position.
Those reportedly shortlisted for screening are Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa; his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
“Both the North and South will love the man we have picked. He is a believer in one Nigeria. He is temperate. He is mindful of the impact of his words and actions on the feelings of other Nigerians besides those from his zone. He is a credit to the campaign. He is…,” former presidential aide,
Reno Omokri, posted.
Abubakar on Saturday, May 28, emerged as the PDP candidate for 2023 presidential election.
Abubakar scored 371 votes to emerge as the party’s candidate defeating his close contender, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, who polled 237 votes.
The Chairman and Chief Returning Officer of the PDP Special Convention, Senator David Mark, announcing the results, said “Abubakar haven scored the highest votes in the election is hereby declared the winner”.
He also announced the votes scored by other aspirants as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom – 38 votes, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State – 20 votes.
Former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki – 70 votes; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim – 14 votes.
The only female Aspirant, Mrs Tari Oliver, and the former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa scored one vote each.
Other aspirants without vote included former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu; former Speaker of Abia State, Chikwendu Kalu; and former Deputy Speaker of Abia State, Cosmos Ndekwe.
Former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State had earlier withdrawn from the race and resigned from the party.
Others that withdrew from the race were financial expert, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
Abubakar born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa, ran for governor of the state three times in 1990, 1997 and 1998, when he was elected before becoming the running mate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, which he remained the vice president till 2003.
Abubakar contested for the office of the president several times, including 2014 when he ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost in the primaries to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also run as the PDP presidential candidate in 2019 but lost to President Buhari of APC.
Atiku and his running mate are expected to battle with other presidential parties like Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.
Among other presidential candidates are Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party, Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Young Progressives Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu of Zenith Labour Party, Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress, Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party and Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress.