The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has intensified effort to pick a running mate for its candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP set up a committee comprised of serving governors, members of the National Working Committee and the Board of Trustees, as well as former governors, with the task to choose a viable vice-presidential candidate.
The committee met in Abuja on Wednesday and Thursday. The PDP’s spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, confirmed the committee’s formation to the press last night.
Ologunagba in the interview with news men, indicated that the PDP would announce its vice-presidential candidate next week.
He, however, declined to reveal the names of those being considered as the running mate.
He said, “Yes, we have set up a committee on the running mate; when it comes out with its decision, it would be announced. We don’t do things by speculations. There is a process, we don’t work without planning. We would follow due process, we consult, that’s what we are doing.
“When we are done with consultations, you would hear the outcome. Whether they met today (Thursday), whether they didn’t meet, that’s not relevant. When they have done their work, you would know the outcome.”
When asked about the names of the committee members, Ologunagba stated, “You don’t need the names. All the organs of our party are represented: the National Working Committee, the Governors Forum, the Board of Trustees, and the Former Governors Forum are all represented. All the organs of the party and relevant stakeholders are involved in the consultations.”
On the efforts to reconcile the aspirants who lost during the primaries, the party said a reconciliation process was ongoing.
Meanwhile the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, were said to have increased their lobbying of PDP stakeholders in order to secure the position of VP.
A close source to Wike told news men that the governor was in Abuja lobbying to be named Atiku’s running mate.
The source stated, “The governor is not in town as we speak. It is not out of place if he is pushing to become the running mate of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“But it will be unfair if he (Wike) is not picked as Atiku’s running mate going by his contributions to the party, both in terms of finance and other levels of support.
“Don’t forget that he came second in the PDP presidential primary in Abuja, so that tells you his pedigree,” he stated.
On his part, the Chief Press Secretary to the Delta State governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, confirmed that the governor was one of the people being tipped as Atiku’s running mate.
Ifeajika said Okowa was eminently qualified for the post. He said, “Yes, they (governors) met yesterday and today, Thursday, in Abuja. Of course, it is no longer news that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is among the people being tipped as the running mate.