Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, says he’s already looking into how to unite the party and placate all aggrieved members following the fallout of his choice of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
Atiku spoke on Thursday against the backdrop of Wednesday’s complaints by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, that his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, and others who supported him for the PDP vice-presidential ticket slot deserved explanations from Atiku.
Ortom had also said he had resorted to fasting and prayers to seek God’s direction after Atiku picked Okowa as his the running mate instead of Wike.
The Benue governor, who spoke on an Arise TV programme on Wednesday morning, expressed surprise that Atiku could jettison the recommendation of 14 out of 17 members of the committee that recommended Wike as his running mate.
But Atiku in his response on Thursday in a series of tweets, said the PDP would remain united despite the current disagreement.
The PDP presidential flagbearer tweeted, “The #OfficialPDPNig will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.
“Every Governor, Legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me.
“When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced. -AA.”
After picking Okowa as his running mate, Atiku had explained that he made him his choice because he had the qualities to be a President, adding that he “is a President-in-waiting.”
Atiku has said, “In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our governors, the 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 (All Progressives Congress) 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.”