Okowa: 10 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Atiku’s Running Mate

Okowa: 10 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Atiku’s Running Mate

  • The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has finally made his choice in selecting Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate ahead of the 2023 presidential polls
  • Governor Okowa emerged as Atiku's preferred choice after much speculations that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state is favoured for the slot
  • Atiku and Okowa will now be heading into the 2023 presidential election as official candidate and running mate of the PDP

After weeks of anticipation, suspense and speculations, the die has finally been cast as the presidential candidate of the main opposition, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has finally picked his running mate heading into the 2023 presidential election.

Atiku amidst all the possible options at his disposal on Thursday, June 16 settled for the governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa as the official vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Atiku Abubakar, PDP
With less than 14 months left to completion of his tenure, Gov Okowa emerged as the running mate of PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar on Thursday, June 16. Photo: Ifeanyi A. Okowa
Source: Facebook

Recall that until early Thursday morning, Legit.ng reported that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state had been tipped to emerge the vice-presidential candidate of the opposition party.

However, Legit.ng further reported that a number of party chieftains raised concerns about the governor’s temperament, his perceived dictatorial tendencies and his propensity for picking fights even with key allies.

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On the other hand, some PDP leaders reportedly argued that Governor Okowa possessed a better intellectual bent and would bring better value to governance at the federal level if the ticket is eventually elected by Nigerians.

Atiku was reported to have shared their concerns and turned his attention to Governor Okowa who was reported to have been his initial favourite for the position.

Meanwhile, here are the facts you may not know about Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

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Academic background

1. He was birthed with the full name Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. Okowa was born at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State on 8 July, 1959.

2. His educational background spans across the south-south and southwest where he attended the famous Edo College, Benin City, between 1970 and 1976. According to Vanguard newspaper, Okowa graduated with the second best result in the Higher School Certificate Examination in the then Bendel State.

3. Okowa is a certified medical doctor. ThisDay newspaper in a report said Okowa attended the prestigious University of Ibadan where he studied Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree and graduated in 1981 at a record age of 22 years.

Political career

4. This newspaper also reported that Okowa started is sojourn as a politician when he was appointed secretary to the Ika Local Government and then pioneer Chairman of Ika North-East Local Government Council (1991–1993).

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5. He joined the PDP in 1998, and assisted in Governor James Ibori’s campaign in 1998/1999. He served as a Commissioner in the Delta State government for Agriculture and Natural Resources (July 1999 – April 2001), Water Resources Development (April 2001 – May 2003) and Health (September 2003 – October 2006).

6. In 2007, Okowa resigned his position as commissioner for health in a bid to become the next governor of the state. Unfortunately, he lost at the PDP governorship primaries. He was however compensated with an appointment as Secretary to the Delta State Government.

7. In 2011, he contested for the senatorial seat of the Delta North senatorial district and eventually emerged victorious.

8. As senator in the seventh National Assembly, he was ranked among the best senators for sponsoring 10 bills, including the National Health Bill, a feat many acknowledged as ingenious, legendary and laudable despite his short stint in the red chamber.

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9. In April 2015, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa was elected Governor of Delta State and was inaugurated on May 29, 2019.

10. In his second tenure as governor with less than 14months left to the completion of his tenure, he emerged the running mate of PDP's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar on Thursday, June 16

Presidency 2023: Youth advocate advises Atiku to pick Wike as running mate

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the executive director of the Platform for Youth and Women Development, Ogoegbunam Kingdom, advised Atiku to pick Governor Wike as his running mate.

In a brief email chat with Legit.ng, Mr Kingdom who called for a wide consultation said Governor Wike is the best vice presidential candidate who will deliver the entire southern region for Atiku and the PDP.

He said the Rivers state governor has massive cult followers in the south and in the middle belt region.

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Southeast PDP kick against Wike's nomination

Meanwhile, some stakeholders of the party mainly from the southeast are said to be against the endorsement of the Rivers state governor.

The source said the zone felt having contributed immensely to the development of the party since 1999, they deserve a better deal from the party in 2023.

The opponents to Wike as running mate to Atiku are said to be behind some trending videos on the social media where the Rivers governor was seen swearing never to take the vice-presidential slot.

Source: Legit.ng

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