- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has refuted claims that he betrayed southern Nigeria by accepting to be Atiku's running mate
- The allegation was made by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum after Atiku announced he will run on a joint ticket with Okowa
- Okowa clarified his stance on the issue and noted that he won't want to join issues with the elders because he respects them
Asaba - Delta state governor and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has said that he did not betray southern Nigeria by accepting to be Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's running mate.
He said that contrary to claims and remarks in certain quarters, on his emergence as vice presidential candidate of his party, he belonged to a political party that agreed to throw the presidential ticket open as the best way to rescue the nation.
Okowa, who spoke on Arise Television on Friday night, June 17 said he would not join issues with any group on the issue, especially the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum because he respects the conveners.
He explained that the important thing was that he belonged to a political party and was part of the decisions of the party, including the agreement of its leadership that the best part to rescue the nation was to throw the presidential ticket race open.
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“Having agreed to that and also submitted myself to be a politician in the Peoples Democratic Party, I am ruled by the policies of the party as they are.
“And, since we have all agreed that we wanted to throw the presidential candidacy open and Atiku Abubakar emerged, the onus is for us to support him.
“We are not expecting that he would be the candidate from the north and also have a vice-presidential candidate from the north. That would be leading to further division.”
He added that as a party craving to rebuild the nation, taking the right decisions that would foster unity of the nation was very important to the PDP.
On adding strength to the presidential ticket of the PDP, he said that he was acceptable to the structures of the party across the nation having been in the party since inception and grown through political ranks.
Okowa said that he had a very clear understanding of what the issues in the polity were and how to navigate through them.
On unifying the party, Okowa said that he had started reaching out to his colleagues and other leaders of the party and that he was encouraged by the response so far.
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Atiku has answers to Nigeria's challenges, says Okowa
Earlier, Governor Okowa said Atiku has solutions to the numerous challenges bedevilling Nigeria.
The Delta state governor made the comment on Thursday, June 16 in his acceptance speech after his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP.
He said that the solutions to Nigeria's problems as a nation lay in Atiku’s book "My Covenant With Nigeria" and urged party members and all Nigerians to join hands with the PDP to rescue the nation from maladministration.
2023: How Okowa emerged as Atiku's running mate
Legit.ng had reported that Okowa emerged as the running mate to Atiku after he was screened.
Thereafter, Atiku personally announced Okowa as his running mate on Thursday, June 16, in the party's national secretariat in Abuja.
The announcement triggered various reactions on social media.