Since the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar announced the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, there has been a mix bag of reactions across the country.
The PDP Flagbearer however didn’t just come up with the name overnight. It was a decision based on after- thought, thorough scrutiny, critical analysis and strength of conviction in the man, Ifeanyi Okowa.
A committee set up to carry out the assignment was said to have initially submitted the name of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. But Atiku who seems to know what he wants better than any other person decided to settle for Okowa against all odds.
In a speech presented during the unveiling ceremony of the vice presidential candidate at the PDP Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, the former vice president listed out all the qualities he expects from his running mate and he confirmed it is Okowa that possesses them all.
But before this time, Atiku had already promised the governors of the opposition party that his running mate will come from them.
He said: “We have to win the elections and get to work immediately. My running mate has to be ready to start working with me, from day one, in addressing our country’s challenges. Nigerians will not accept anything less.
“That is why I promised the Governors of our party that my running mate will come from among them. Our current challenges call for a government that is highly focused and disciplined,” Atiku said.
Atiku made the promise because he strongly believes that the party has to win the election and running mate must get to work immediately. It has to be somebody who is already in the system and not someone who will start learning on the job after getting to the office.
And those who fall into that category are the serving Governors. This was what gave each of the Governors the hope especially those who fall within the zone that will produce the running mate.
Before the choice of Okowa, Nyesom Wike and Emmanuel Udom were the two major candidates considered for the job. But Okowa was preferred among them all.
Nevertheless, Atiku stuck to his promise by picking a serving Governor of the party unlike 2019 when he chose Peter Obi who was a former governor.