Checks by Vanguard have revealed some of the circumstances that surrounded the choice of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta as Atiku Abubakar's running mate against Governor Nyesom Wike who was earlier touted as the best option for the role.
A source who spoke with the newspaper cited certain considerations made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during its last-minute consultations that led to Wike being dropped.
Wike's VAT war with FG
The source made mention of the fact that some persons pointed to "Wike’s hard stance on issues of taxation, especially with respect to the Rivers State court case against the Federal Government on the Value Added Tax."
The point made in this regard was that the Rivers governor will be in charge of Nigeria's economy as the vice president if the PDP wins the 2023 presidential election and that it "will be too risky to have someone with Wike’s temperament in charge."
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Okowa's diplomacy and level-headedness
On the flip side, it was considered that Governor Okowa is level-headed and has won the hearts of many persons both in the south and beyond partly due to his diplomacy.
Okowa's former membership in the Senate
Even more, Okowa, having been a senator in the past, will not have issues relating with the legislature and thus forging a union between it and the executive arm of the federal government under Atiku.
The source said:
“There is also the issue of legislative liaison. The candidate (Atiku) explained and rightly too that Okowa, who was a Senator was better placed to build synergy between legislators and the executive.”
2023: Despite Wike's denial, serious moves begin to get governor into APC after losing VP slot
Despite an earlier denial by Wike of plans to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), there were 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.