PDP VP Pick: Why Atiku Should Reject Wike

wike, Atiku

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth leader in Kebbi State, Alhaji Mansur Abdullahi, has advised the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against picking Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as his running mate.

Abdullahi appealed to the PDP flag bearer to pick “any other serving or former governor from the South-south or South-east states.”

He proposed that Wike be appointed Minister of Works, or of Interior, where “he can use his husky voice and foul language without let or hindrance.”

Speaking Wednesday morning in Abuja, the politician said the call became imperative in the wake of rumours that some PDP elders had recommended Wike as Atiku’s running mate.

He questioned the rationale behind asking PDP elders to nominate the vice presidential running mate, when the same party elders weren’t consulted when Wike was choosing his preferred governorship successor in Rivers State.

He said, “Isn’t it sheer hypocrisy for party elders who were not allowed by Wike or other governors to have a say in who emerged PDP governorship candidates and their running mates in those states, to now dictate to Wazirin Adamawa who to or who not to choose?

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“Our party elders, and Waziri himself, should realize that a candidate’s running mate is like a bride. It is like a marriage. If things go bad, it is the principal who will be left to suffer the consequences. It is therefore important to allow whoever is entering a marriage to have a say,” he stated.

According to Abdullahi, the emergence of Senator Bola Tinubu as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate has made the choice of a “marketable” running mate for Atiku “an absolute necessity.”

He drew attention to the United States where President Barack Obama rebuffed pleas to make Senator Hilary Clinton his vice president on account of the bitter attacks Hilary Clinton launched again at him during the Democratic primaries.

He started, “If Obama appointed Hilary Clinton Secretary of State instead of Vice President is telling enough. Atiku shouldn’t make the mistake Obama avoided.”

Abdullah I stressed that choosing Wike will cause a lot of problems for Atiku in the South south zone, “as he’s barely on talking terms with his colleague-governors.

“He spent all of his first term fighting former Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, and has transferred the fight to Governor Douye Diri.

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“Wike’s refusal to, as protocol demands, visit Governor Godwin Obaseki when he arrived in Edo State for campaigns, exposed his pettiness. A Vice President is a potential president. Imagine what Wike would do to a sitting governor who dared disagreed with him if, God forbid, he became president,” noted the chieftain.

He continued, “Atiku’s campaign peg is reuniting Nigerians. The PDP presidential candidate cannot be talking of reuniting Nigerians and at the same time choose a man who is known to be a chief divider of Nigerians.

Aside Wike’s toxic temperament and uncouthness, even in the house of God, his bitter campaign during the party primaries does not portray him as a man who would be loyal or subservient to anybody but himself.

“Wike mocked every other aspirant as running for president for the sake of negotiating for the position of Vice President. He vowed never to be anybody’s Vice President. Why reward such a man with a position he spat on,” quizzed Abdullahi.

“Wike’s annointed governorship candidate in Rivers State, his erstwhile Accountant -General, Siminialayi Fubara, is, at best, a fugitive. Declared wanted by the EFCC, Fubara escaped being arrested by EFCC agents last week. If his hands are clean, why is Wike shielding his political protegé from the long arms of the law?

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“Choosing Wike will be too risky for Atiku. Imagine the embarrassment EFCC arresting Fubara in the heat of the presidential campaign would cost PDP. Will Wike still have the presence of mind to continue campaigning with Atiku in the event the EFCC nabs his candidate?

“Reports that certain candidates spoiled delegates with United States Dollars does not help the situation. So also are reports that billions of Naira are missing in the state’s coffers. Arresting Fubara would most likely open a can of worms, probably the reason godfather and godson are a avoiding the EFCC like a plague. The collateral damage Fubara’s inevitable arrest would cost Atiku and our grear PDP would be too enormous to bear,” he stressed.

“The South south isn’t in short supply of credible and competent candidates like Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Udom Emmanuel. Should this prove to be a problem, Atiku should consider Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. After all, both zones were the former Easten Region. But a Wike candidacy should be a No-no”, he declared.

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