5 Reasons Why Atiku Rejected Wike as Running Mate, New Report Reveals

5 Reasons Why Atiku Rejected Wike as Running Mate, New Report Reveals

FCT, Abuja, ahead of the 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, June 16, presented Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta state governor, as his running mate.

Weeks before the announcement, there had been several media reports indicating that the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, had a stronger chance of being picked as Atiku's running mate.

Atiku Abubakar/2023 Presidency/Running Mate/Governor Wike/Governor Okowa
PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, rejected Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, as running mate. Photo credit: @atiku
Source: Twitter

Days, after Atiku announced Okowa as his choice, a report by Premium Times on Monday, June 20, revealed why Atiku rejected Wike who was one of the three governors recommended by an ad hoc committee of the PDP to the presidential candidate for his consideration as his running mate.

The others were Okowa and Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel.

1. Direct opponent

Sources cited by Premium Times said Atiku told senior party leaders that he could not work with Governor Wike, describing him as a direct opponent.

Read also

Wike dumping PDP? Rivers governor returns from Turkey, drops strong message about APC

PAY ATTENTION: Follow us on Instagram - get the most important news directly in your favourite app!

Wike contested against Atiku in the PDP presidential primary and came second.

2. Wike's role in the 2018 presidential primary

Against all odds, Atiku who had just left the ruling APC managed to secure the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2018 to contest the 2019 presidential election against President Buhari.

However, Wike who was backing Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state then stood against him in the election.

Recalling the incident, Atiku was reported to have concluded that Governor Wike does not like him. He was said to have cited how he almost thwarted his nomination in 2018 at the party’s National Convention in Port Harcourt.

3. Wike's outburst against southern governors

After the convention, Atiku paid a visit to Governor Wike in his Abuja residence in Abuja, during which the governor promised the candidate and the PDP his full support for the general elections.

Read also

Wike speaks amid rumoured meeting with Tinubu in France, shares photo

However, the PDP presidential candidate was unhappy with the fact that Wike, upon returning to Port Harcourt, lambasted his colleague governors for abandoning the southern presidency agitation and supporting him (Atiku).

“Atiku was horrified after Wike returned to Port Harcourt and was publicly attacking his colleague governors for supporting Atiku at the primary," a party insider was quoted as saying.

4. Wike's fallout with Secondus

It was also learned that Atiku believes Governor Wike’s fallout with the former national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, was due to the governor’s perception that Secondus had become close to him (Atiku).

Wike openly admitted working against Secondus who was removed from the position in 2021.

5. The fear expressed by party leaders

Many party elders and leaders also reportedly feared that picking Governor Wike would tear the party apart instead of unifying it.

They allegedly said many of his colleague governors in the south-south and south-east do not like his ways.

Read also

Fresh details about Tinubu, Wike's alleged planned meeting emerge

“Our leaders acknowledge the role Wike played in ensuring the survival of the party during its trying moments, but they do not like his boastful ways and the way he always threatened the party and party leaders to have his way every time.
“They believe that such a combative and garrulous person cannot be suitable for the role of vice president and that is the reason many party leaders were against Wike,” the source reportedly said.

PDP governors speak on Okowa's emergence as Atiku's running mate

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that governors elected on the platform of the PDP congratulated Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, for his selection as the party’s vice-presidential candidate.

In a statement issued on Thursday night, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, said Okowa has “what it takes” to be vice-president.

He said the Atiku/Okowa ticket will defeat the APC in 2023.

Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel