- The search for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's running mate is currently ongoing within the opposition PDP
- There were reports that the former vice president will choose a running mate from the south-south region
- But, sources say the 75-year-old politician may also consider the southeast for the position ahead of the polls
According to the report, Atiku and the leadership of the PDP are considering either the southeast or south-south as a place to pick the running mate, in the north-south presidency composition.
Already, the names of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, have been mentioned as those being considered for the position.
Sources quoted in the report revealed that apart from Wike, Emmanuel, Okowa, and Anyim, the search for the running mate has widened in the southeast, with fresh names being mentioned.
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Among those whose names have also come up are former Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; ex-Enugu state governor and senator representing Enugu East, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, and former Imo state governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
The sentiment for Ekweremadu’s choice, it was gathered, is coming from supporters of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Saraki worked with Ekweremadu in the 8th Senate, against stiff opposition by senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as him.
The snag about Ekweremadu, however, is the feeling that he may defect to the APC to pursue his governorship ambition.
It was gathered that those who mentioned the name of Nnamani reckoned that the senator is popular in the southeast, as a two-time governor and serving senator.
Ihedioha, it was gathered, is being mentioned by those working with Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
Sources revealed that the PDP candidate does not want a repeat of the controversy when he picked former Anambra state governor and now presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, as running mate in 2019.
When Obi was announced as running mate to Atiku in 2019, there was initial misgiving as governors of the South East and PDP leaders in the zone said they were not taken into confidence, in accordance with an agreement with Atiku before supporting him at the presidential primary.
2023: PDP Board of Trustees vows to help Atiku choose running mate
In a related development, the PDP Board of Trustees chairman, Walid Jibrin had said the board is ready to assist the presidential candidate of the party to come up with an acceptable running mate from the southern part of the country.
Daily Trust newspaper quoted him as saying:
“The BoT will assist the party and surely the Wazirin Adamawa himself to come out with very acceptable vice president from southern Nigeria.”
2023: Atiku’s emergence as PDP flagbearer marks the end of APC, says Akinniyi
Meanwhile, the chairman, Atiku Abubakar Town Hall Meetings, Dare 'Glintstone' Akinniyi has boasted that the emergence of the former vice president as the presidential flagbearer of the PDP will mark the end of the APC.
Akinniyi made the declaration immediately after Atiku won the PDP presidential primary election, adding that his presidency will reposition Nigeria on the path to prosperity.
He also commended delegates at the just concluded PDP's special convention where Atiku emerged as the party's flag bearer.
2023: Group berates Umahi over remarks on Atiku's emergence as PDP candidate
On its part, the Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has described as laughable the remarks by Governor Dave Umahi that he will defeat Atiku if given the presidential ticket of the APC.
Umahi, while reacting to Atiku’s victory boasted that if he gets the presidential ticket of the APC, he will defeat Atiku before 12 noon on election day.
Reacting to the remarks in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Monday, May 30 by its president, Pascal Oluchchukwu, the group described Umahi as a man who would go any length to discredit anyone he feels is doing better than him both in politics and life in general.