In an apparent mockery of some other frontline contestants in the 2023 presidential election who were unable to choose their vice presidential running mates before the deadline given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said the first and most important decision that any candidate for an executive position in a democracy must make is the choice of a running mate.
The APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his labour counterpart, Peter Obi had chosen ‘place holders’ because of their inability to choose their preferred presidential running mate.
While Tinubu picked Usman Masari and Obi chose Doyin. They have a 30-day window to replace them.
But in a statement, he signed, Atiku said: “The office of the president in particular requires that the holder of that office must have clarity of the mind on decision-making.
“That is why in countries that have acquired more experiences in democratic acculturation, the choice that a presidential candidate makes about their running mates, and how they make the decision, provides a window of assessing their preparedness for the job that potentially waits ahead of them.”
According to Atiku, “In meeting up with this expectation, and more importantly to ensure that I make a pick of a running mate that you shall be proud of, it became necessary for me to be introspective about my choice.”
He continued, “Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and I share a lot of personality attributes in common. He is a fine gentleman, but tenacious. His experience as a Senator will come in handy in some of the legislative reforms that are urgently needed to reformat our governmental processes.
“Ifeanyi and I are incurable optimists in the future of Nigeria and the promises it holds as one united, peaceful and prosperous country.
“Having him on the ticket brings a lot of asset to our campaign. In the months ahead to the general election, together with other great leaders of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party and, with your esteemed support, we shall work very hard to ensure convincing victory for our party.
“A victory for the PDP in the general election is a victory for Nigeria. When we win, Nigeria wins. The stakes in the election are very high, and it gives me tremendous joy that I can count on your support to win the election and get to work in earnest.”, Atiku stated.