Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, has patted himself on the back for making ‘the right decision’ of picking Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over Governor Nyesom Wike as his vice-presidential running mate.
In a statement capable of irking Governor Wike of Rivers State, Atiku said President Muhammadu Buhari’s conferment of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) award on Governor Okowa on Tuesday was a confirmation that his choice of the Delta State Governor as his running mate was apt.
The president conferred the national honours on 449 Nigerians and foreigners during a ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Praising Okowa’s investiture with the CON title, Atiku said in a tweet: “Today’s conferment of the National Honour on Gov Ifeanyi Okowa @IAOkowa by President Muhammadu Buhari is a testimonial that I made the right decision in tapping an achiever as my Vice Presidential candidate for the 2023 election. On behalf of my family, our team and our supporters, I say congratulations!”
It would be recalled that Atiku’s refusal to pick Wike as his running mate for the February 25, 2023, presidential election was the genesis of the leadership crisis currently tearing the PDP apart.
Wike, who came second behind Atiku in the PDP presidential primary held in May, was one of three governors said to have been recommended by an ad hoc committee of the party raised to suggest suitable running mates for the former vice president.
While Wike was said to be the preferred choice of members of the committee, Atiku settled for Okowa instead.
This created animosity between the former vice president and the Rivers governor, with the latter subsequently calling for the resignation of the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as the irreducible condition for him and his bloc of the party to support Atiku’s bid.