- Wike's supporters are not happy with the selection of Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate to Atiku Abubakar
- According to some of them, rejecting Wike will have repercussions for the opposition People democratic party
- Another supporter of the Rivers state governor accused Atiku Abubakar of not fulfilling his pledge to allow the party decide
Following the selection of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, political office holders in Rivers state have criticised Atiku.
They warned that his decision would have implications in the 2023 elections, Punch Newspaper reports..
Speaking on the selection, the chairman of the Ikwerre local government area of Rivers state, Dr Samuel Nwanosike accused Atiku of not honouring his words to respect the decision of the party which set up a committee to choose a running mate for him.
Atiku has answers to Nigeria's challenges, says Governor Ifeanyi Okowa after emerging PDP 2023 vp candidate
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“There is a local proverb in my village that says nobody will tell a man that eats yam to go and drink water.
“If you are eating yam, you must look for water to drink because if you eat yam without drinking water, it will choke you.”
“If he kept to his words like he said to go with the party’s overwhelming choice, then he would have respected the decision of the panel, the party’s national chairman and his team set up.”
Nwanosike claimed all stakeholders of the party recommended Wike as Atiku’s running mate.
Going further, he insisted that Atiku’s preference for Okowa would affect the former vice-president’s chances:
“He has made his calculations. And since he has made his calculations, he (Atiku) will live with the result. He will see out of his calculations. It is not the first time he has been the candidate of the party.
“He was the candidate of the party in 2019. He knows what the result was. Now he has made a decision. So let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for the decision of the electorate. Right now, it is no longer in the hands of Dr Iyorcha Ayu and his team. It is now in the hands of the electorate.”
Also speaking his a former member of the House of Representatives representing Etche-Omuma Constituency, Ogbonna Nwuke.
According to him, Governor Wike would speak at the appropriate time.
Nwuke, who was also former Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, however, said by Atiku’s choice of a running mate, he did not reject Wike, but he rejected Rivers State.
“I believe that our leader will speak at the appropriate time. We are members and whatever decision he makes will be okay by us because he is the one wearing the shoe now. I think it is not Governor Wike that Atiku rejected; it is Rivers State he rejected.”
2023: Despite Wike's denial, serious moves begin to get governor into APC after losing VP slot
Meanwhile, despite an earlier denial by Governor Nyesom Wike of plans to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), there are moves by the ruling party to bring the strong man of Rivers into its fold.
A keen supporter of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Joe Igbokwe, has advised the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to GET Wike into their camp.
In fact, Igbokwe urged the ruling party to beg the Rivers governor to defect into its fold, because, according to him, his a big fish and a great performer in Nigeria.