- The decision on who runs alongside Atiku Abubakar for the office of the presidency in 2023 has not yet been reached by the leadership of the PDP
- In fact, the fight gets dirty as Delta state Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, are at loggerheads over the choice of Atiku's running mate, VP's slot
- According to Ibori, Governor Okowa cannot be trusted with such a position and if the slot is to be given to Delta state, the party should look for another person if eventually
Atiku Abubakar's running mate is raising serious concern in the polity and causing conflict among major stakeholders of Nigeria's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
This time around, the political conflict between Delta state Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, has resurrected, Leadership reports.
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The conflict may not be unconnected with who to represent the state as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Ibori, Okowa's clash renewed
While Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is said to be lobbying for the post, Chief Ibori is said to be working against it, preferring to pay back the incumbent governor over the roles he played in the last state governorship primary where the latter’s preferred aspirant lost out.
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Ibori, known as a close friend of Atiku Abubakar, was said to have prevailed on the PDP presidential candidate that Governor Okowa cannot be trusted with such a position and that the party should look for another person if eventually, the slot is to be given to Delta state.
Charles Aniagwu, Delta state commissioner speaks on the matter
Speaking on the development, Charles Aniagwu, the commissioner for information, said Governor Okowa as the leader of the party in the state had done well to the extent that nobody can stand as an opposition to such ambition.
While saying that it is only God that can stop Governor Okowa’s ambition, he said there was no reason for such animosity.
“Both Ibori and Okowa work closely, both of them respect each other. I have not seen Ibori speak bad of Okowa while l have not seen Okowa speak bad of Ibori. Okowa is working hard to reposition the party. If he did not pick senatorial form for the slot of running mate was his personal decision.
“Many delegates voted for Atiku, not only the 25 delegates from Delta State gave him victory. Delegates from across the nation voted for him. Okowa once had a stint in the Senate, so his plan is to reposition the party.”
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The presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties are currently searching for running mates.
On Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave them a week to submit the names of their running mates.
Tinubu speaks on choice of running mate after meeting Buhari
In another development, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he already has the choice of his running mate in his pocket book.
Tinubu made this known after meeting President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, June 9.
The national leader of the ruling APC also hailed the president for the role he played in the success of the party's national convention.