by Bode Gbadebo (Leadership)
A leading contender for the vice presidential slot of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, was on Thursday conspicuously absent at a brief ceremony to unveil his counterpart from Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the vice presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 elections.
Recall that Wike was the runner-up at the PDP presidential primary election held on May 28 with 237 votes, losing to Atiku Abubakar, who polled 371.
Since after the primary election, Wike was touted as the natural presidential running mate to Atiku given the governor’s enormous influence within the party.
However, Okowa was unveiled by former vice president and PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before party stalwarts and top officials at the PDP national headquarters in Abuja.
He said one of the considerations for Okowa’s choice was his suitability to succeed him after his tenure in office if eventually elected as president.
“I am delighted to announce Governor Ifeanyi A. Okowa as my Vice Presidential candidate. I look forward to travelling our great country together, engaging with all Nigerians and building a shared future of peace, unity, and prosperity for all,” Atiku said.
Besides the party’s national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Board of Trustees (BoT), and Caucus members, Okowa’s colleagues were also present at the unveiling ceremony.
They included governors of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Uguanyi: Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Awka Ibom, Udom Emmanuel; Edo, Godwin Obaseki, and Benue; Samuel Ortom.