Reactions trail emergence of Delta Governor as PDP VP candidate

Eme Offiong, Calabar

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Nigerians have expressed feelings about the emergence of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku Abubakar announced Governor Okowa as his running mate sequel to a caucus meeting of the PDP held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

In Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, some political analysts have described the selection of Dr. Okowa as a better move for the PDP.

Mr. Clement James said, “Governor Okowa has a calm disposition and from my perspective would complement Atiku Abubakar well. He is humble and not overambitious; he has ideas to offer as a middle aged man. He has made a mark in Delta State as a two-time governor. Governor Okowa has national appeal and I believe he will do better.”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Mba Ukweni opined, “I do not see anything wrong in choosing Okowa. We heard it was supposed to be governor Wike, who came second at the primaries. At least having worked hard to come second, it means he had the spread.

“I am particular about the fact that we should not treat the south-east as irrelevant in the political scheme of Nigeria. I feel that the south-east should have been considered. But, Atiku settling for the south-south means he will get the votes of the region and the north. 

“We are returning to the situation we used to have during the second republic when the north aligned with the southern minority and the west and east stood alone, which does not promote the unity and harmony of the country,” he averred.

In his remark, a public affairs analyst, Mr. Esu Coco-Bassey said the selection of Governor Okowa may have been hinged on several factors.

Coco-Bassey said, “It is not bad. Delta State has the Igbo speaking people and Okowa is from that area. I believe the emergence of Okowa serves to appeal to those in the south-east even though geopolitically he is from south-south region. But, the selection should have been from the south-eastern states.”

Unanimous Decision

A PDP stakeholder and former Director General of Cross River State Rural Development Agency, RUDA, Mr. Eko Atu said that party and candidate took a unanimous decision, which has led to the selection of the governor of Delta State as the running mate.

Atu stated, “to be fair, the lot fell on Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State. He comes from the Delta-Igbo area since they could not get anybody from the south-east.”

He noted “Delta State has what he described as a large voting bloc. He is on the quiet side and has been the Secretary to the State Government; he is a sitting governor finishing his two terms and has a good relationship with his colleague governors.

“We should consider also the fact that whoever is one the ticket as much as he is willing and ever ready to consult with elders of the party, it is his prerogative to also consider who he can work with,” he opined. 

Atu reasoned that Governor Wike, who remains a party man, would have contributed to the selection of Okowa as the PDP flag bearer’s running mate.

He urged all party members including other Nigerians to support the Atiku-Okowa ticket at the forthcoming general elections.


Dominica Nwabufo

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