A report by Business Day newspaper indicates that former vice president and presidential aspirant on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, have picked Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state as his running mate in place of Peter Obi.
Obi, a former Anambra state governor, an economist was Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 general election.
Sources quoted in the report say Atiku’s decision to dump Obi was because he allegedly made little financial contributions to the 2019 campaign purse as well as inability to win his state Anambra and the southeast for the party in the presidential election.
A source in the Atiku campaign team quoted in the report said:
“Prior to the 2019 election, Governor Peter Obi didn’t have a strong political structure outside the southeast. People just loved him because of his vast knowledge of the economy, winning an election goes beyond all that.
“For instance, since he left office and joined PDP he has not been able to have his nominees win the governorship election in the state. Although he is brilliant and can speak good grammar, interprets the economy very well, winning an election is much more than that. How much did he bring to the table?
“To successfully run an election in this country you need money, connection, strong and vast political structure, etc, and these you find in abundance in Nyesom Wike. He is a good material any day and that’s not the kind of man you leave behind, especially if you want to win election in Nigeria.”
Some other sources close to the party hierarchy said the matter formed part of the discussions at the recent meeting of the PDP governors’ forum hosted by Wike in Port Harcourt.
It was gathered that the governor had used the opportunity to seek the support of his colleagues for the Atiku-Wike 2023 ticket; an issue that many of those in attendance were said to have kicked against.
Weeks before the meeting, Wike had visited some of the PDP governors to personally invite them to the meeting.