Atiku and OkowaThe 2023 presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has unveiled Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
This was contrary to a selection made by a 19-Man committee setup to select the party’s vice-presidential candidate. The committee has opted for Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the party’s national secreteriat, Atiku revealed that his running mate has to be someone he can ‘work’ with, trust and will support him wholeheartedly to steer the country to greater heights
Below is his full speech at the event;
Let me begin by, once more, commending our great Party for organizing and concluding, arguably, the best and rancour-free Convention, which produced me as our flag-bearer for the next year’s Presidential Election.
Once more, I commend my fellow aspirants in that contest. I thank them for their sportsmanship. They put up spirited fights because they cared and care for our country. I have personally gone around to thank them and to seek their cooperation for the struggle ahead.
Party unity is critical not only for us to prosecute a winning campaign but also to provide good governance that our country seriously deserves and our people earnestly yearn for. The task of winning the coming elections will be a tough one and we must not take anything for granted.
With the convention behind us, we have arrived at the stage for me to pick a Running Mate because this is a joint ticket. I am very happy to announce today that I have reached a decision on that.
In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our Governors, National Working Committee, Board of Trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom.
In these consultations, I made clear that my running mate would have the potential to succeed me at a moment’s notice, that is, a President-in-waiting.
In other words, the person must have the qualities to be President. The person must have an appreciation of the deep rot which our country has been put into by the rudderless APC government; understands the great suffering that most of our people are going through and the urgency of relieving them of that suffering; understands the critical importance of economic growth and development to provide our young people with jobs, hope, and a pathway to wealth.
The person must appreciate the critical importance of education in the development of modern societies so we can prepare our young people to be able to compete in the increasingly competitive and globalized world.
My running mate must understand that without security, development will be very difficult because local and foreign investors who have been scared away already, would not return to invest in our economy. Thus, my running mate will be a person who will stand by me as a I confront the frightening level of insecurity in our land.
As you know, the APC government went to sleep as huge swathes of our country’s territory fell into the deadly hands of gangs of criminals, including those masquerading as freedom fighters or pastoralists, while our farmers and genuine pastoralists are unable to go about their businesses. The costs in precious human lives and properties have been enormous. My running mate must also not only symbolize the imperative of reuniting our country but also be able to work with me to achieve that objective. This is because a united Nigeria is a potentially stronger, more prosperous, and more secure country able to lead Africa and give hope to the Black race.
In addition, my Running Mate has to be someone who is not afraid to speak his mind and give honest advice, and, be by my side as I work very hard to reverse the destructive impact of the past seven years of the APC government.