The presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said he did not pick Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, as his running mate because he wanted someone he could work with “amicably”.
The former vice-president spoke during a live show with Arise TV, Friday.
The PDP candidate had earlier picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election, despite the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) endorsing Wike for the role.
The choice had created crisis within the party, with a group of aggrieved governors and party members insisting that Wike should be picked.
Speaking on his choice of vice-presidential candidate, Atiku said he chose Okowa instead of Wike because he wanted someone that could “deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country”.
“Governor Wike was not rejected. Nobody was rejected in the party. But you must understand that it’s the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate — a running mate he believes he can work with amicably, and then also deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country.
“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He’s courageous, tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country. It’s not a question of rejection. Certainly, not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected governor Wike. Certainly not,” he said.