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2023: Atiku narrows down to Wike for VP

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…Tinubu picks Northern Christian

RIVERS STATE governor, Nyesom Wike is almost certain to emerge as the running mate of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections.

  The coast became clear for Wike, yesterday, following his final endorsement ahead contenders, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Udom Emmanuel of Delta and Akwa Ibom States, respectively, who had been shortlisted alongside the Rivers helmsman, Governor Wike by an advisory panel set up by PDP to select Atiku’s running mate.

  Describing Wike’s selection as reward for his loyalty to the party, a source in the panel said Wike secured 13 votes out of 17 members of the panel to emerge as the brightest option for Atiku with just two days to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s deadline for submission of names of candidates.

  “The panel initially trimmed the list to three — Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Okowa, and Udom Emmanuel. When the names were subjected to further scrutiny and put to vote, 16 out of 19 voted in Wike’s favour. With his track record of loyalty to the party and performance at our just-concluded presidential primaries, most of us felt this is the right thing to do. We also considered the question of Wike having contested against Atiku for the presidential nomination ticket. But we had answer from United States where Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as running mate after he defeated her in Democratic Party presidential primary in a bid to unite the party,” the source said.

  However, the last hurdle for Wike is Atiku’s final decision which the source hoped will be made before tomorrow.

  Similarly, National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s presidential flag bearer, Bola Tinubu said he has opted for a Northern Christian as his running mate.

  Tinubu disclosed his choice while speaking to newsmen during APC governorship rally in Ekiti State, yesterday.

  Describing those behind news of his decision to go for a Muslim-Muslim ticket as busy bodies and undemocratic elements, Tinubu promised to come out with his choice once consultations are over.

  “The VP slot belongs to the Northeastern region and particularly the Christians, but consultations are ongoing as to who will be decided. His or her name will be revealed once we are ready,” he said.

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