Rivers State Governor Barr Nyesom Wike has defeated his Delta State Counterpart Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to emerge the running mate to the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Sources at the National Headquarters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) confirmed that the committee set up by the PDP to pick Atiku Abubakar’s running mate picked Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, over Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Governor Wike won by a whopping 16-3 votes and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa got only got 3 votes from the committee’s votes.
It was gathered that the committee voted against the choice of Governor Okowa following the pressure by his former Political father James Ibori, it was gathered that Ibori mounted a serious opposition and resistance to Atiku picking Okowa because his former political son Okowa hijacked the PDP Delta State structure from him.
His “victory” comes hours after the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said the panel will choose a running mate in 48 hours.
Although Mr. Wike, a presidential aspirant, had initially said he did not want to be vice president, it is unclear whether he now wants the position.
According to reports, we learnt that members of the governor’s team were putting pressure on the committee and the party to pick him as running mate as a way of compensating him for his defeat at the presidential primary in May.
Tuesday’s meeting is in furtherance of consultations “aimed at arriving at a choice which Nigerians would be glad to elect into office,” the party chairman said earlier.
Present at the meeting were the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal; Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and former Senate President, David Mark.
Others were former Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko; former Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, and Senator Philip Aduda, among others.
The electoral umpire, INEC, has asked political parties to submit the names of their presidential candidates and their running mates by Friday, June 17.
The Leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is expected to officially announce the choice of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike any moment.