Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, revealed that his Rivers state counterpart, Nyesom Wike, was the preferred nominee of majority of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) panel members to serve as Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 2023.
Expressing himself on Thursday when he appeared on Channels TV which was monitored by truthlive.net to address the ongoing PDP crisis, Ortom said 14 out of 17 members of the panel recommended Wike for the vice president position.
Recall that Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate for the 2023 elections.
The selection of Okowa has sparked varied reactions in the party as it was believed that Wike, governor of Rivers, would be the choice of the party for the vice-presidential slot.
Speaking on the development, Ortom said the Rivers governor should have been consulted before Okowa was announced as the vice-presidential candidate.
“Of course, three names were presented. In the order of preference, Wike, Okowa and governor Udom – all of them are qualified. But the preference was Wike – 14 members (referring to the committee) out of 17. This is the point we are making,” Ortom said.
“Three of them were qualified but governor Wike was eminently qualified – 14 out of 17 members chose him. All these things were said during our meeting. We said that for the PDP to win, we needed governor Wike.
“Yes, Wike may have his own weak points as others may see it, but to some people, those were his strong points in this life. For me, the candidate who won the primary has the final say; he has decided. I have no problem with that.
“But I think that moving forward, Wike should have been reached out to and even some of us who are supporting Wike should have been told and convinced that ‘well, for this reason, we are deciding on this’.
“For me, post-nomination of vice-presidential candidate, the activity that followed is what I’m complaining about. Wike should have been reached out to. I should have been reached out to, and many other people who said that it should be Wike.”