The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has picked the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate ahead of the 2023 presidential poll.
According to sources within the PDP, the choice of Okowa was made after the recommendation of the party’s Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee led by Chief Tom Ikimi, which selected the Delta Governor ahead of his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, who was also screened by the Committee.
While announcing his running mate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar tweeted: “I am delighted to announce Governor @IAOkowa as my Vice Presidential candidate. I look forward to travelling our great country together, engaging with all Nigerians and building a shared future of peace, unity, and prosperity for all. As One We Can Get It Done. #OneNigeria. -AA.”
Okowa is perceived by many PDP leaders as a calming influence with a vast grassroots support base in the South-South which could ultimately translate to victory for the PDP in the presidential election.
His choice as Atiku’s running mate has also been seen as a balancing act in the northern/southern and religious debate which is an important factor in Nigerian politics.
Okowa, a medical doctor and former Senator, started his political career from the grassroots when he worked as Secretary to the Ika North Local Government before he became the chairman of the local government.
He served as Delta State Commissioner in Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Health, before serving as Secretary to the State Government.
He was elected Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly in 2011. In 2015, he contested and won the election as governor for his first term and repeated the feat in 2019 for his second term.
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