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Group advises Atiku on choice of running mate

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A civil society, Peace Initiative Forum, has urged former Vice President and the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to be circumspect in the choice of his running mate.

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The group said Atiku should choose a person who will add value to the ticket and ensure the victory of the PDP in 2023. It argued that the choice of a Vice President is very important as more Nigerians are getting involved in politics.

“With Peter Obi out of the picture, the South-South has become the new darling of the PDP. In recent days we have seen headlines suggesting that Delta governor, Ifeanyi Okowa is the favourite to become Atiku’s running mate.

“However, recently, we have seen Rivers governor Nyesom Wike also emerged as the favourite. One thing is clear today Alhaji Atiku will be the one who decides the person that will be his running mate. According to the NWC of the PDP, Atiku will have three options to pick from,” it said.

The group which said the list also included Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, urged Atiku to critically consider the credentials of the trio in deciding his choice.

“The choice of Nyesom Wike will be a crowd-puller, especially in Rivers where Atiku did not do well in 2019. Wike is also a lion and mass mobilizer and can really excite the neutrals.

“The problem with Wike, however, is the endless list of utterances that are capable of offending people from across the country. He seems unable to control his emotions and as such creates crisis in peace times.

He has had outbursts against his fellow governors, leaders in the south South, Atiku Abubakar, the North as a whole, Igbo people, Yoruba people etc .

“Okowa on the other hand seems to have a more laid-back approach. He appears gentle and soft-spoken although he has proved to have in his arsenal an element of surprise, especially after the surprise victory, he pulled out in the governorship primaries in Delta where he upset the odds and ensured his candidate emerged. Okowa enjoys the respect of his fellow governors and can give the presidency the much-needed calm and influence.

“The downside for Okowa is that he has just had a major fallout with James Ibori the godfather of Delta politics and this may appear yet another smack in his face. Ibori himself is an Atiku loyalist.

“Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom is another possibility. Udom has a history of transforming from being a banker to political gladiator. Also, his success with Ibom Air has won a lot of admiration for the state government. Like Okowa, he is also gentle and very calm and as a person who is from the private sector, he can bring some solid knowledge as VP and Chairman of the economic Council,” it said of the three leading candidates for the VP slot.

The group also opined that the last VP from the South-South was former president Goodluck Jonathan who hailed from Bayelsa, a state carved out from Rivers.

“The other two governors: Okowa (Old Bendel State which comprises Edo and Delta) and Udom (Cross River and Akwa Ibom) come from areas who also believe that this slot should be left for either of them to also have an opportunity to produce the VP,” it said.

The group also counselled Atiku to consider a candidate who is trustworthy, honest, decent, and dependable to drive the vision of rescuing the country.

“The ultimate decision lies with the presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. His task is not an easy one. He will have to sift through the SWOT analysis of all available candidates and much more data and arrive at a decision that will please most stakeholders.

“What is crucial is that he must pick not just a candidate that can join him to win the election but the candidate that will be a good partner in progress. Trustworthy, honest, decent and dependable,” the group said.

The group further advised the former Vice President to pick a running mate that would put his personal ambition and desires aside and focus on his vision, progress, and development of Nigeria.

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Politics

Cracks in APC as 20 senators plan to defect to PDP, NNPP others

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No fewer than 20 senators are set to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties.

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The ruling party, which had earlier lost over 10 senators to the opposition parties is troubled by the wave of defection as more lawmakers that lost their return tickets to the National Assembly during the party primaries are set to leave the party.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Senator Dauda Haliru Jika representing Bauchi Central, announced his defection to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Worried by the wave of defection in the party, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the APC senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly complex, Abuja yesterday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Adamu admitted that the APC is worried about the development.

The meeting with the senators was most fruitful. The issue of defection is an unfortunate development when it happens but this is a season where there are all sorts of behaviour in the political space and ours is not an exception.

“In every election year, this kind of thing gives cause for stakeholders to sneeze and Nigeria is not an exception so is the APC, not an exception. I don’t care about what is happening in other parties, my focus is on the APC. But we all know that the occurrence is not only happening in the APC, it’s happening across other political parties too. And because we are the ruling party, our problems are exaggerated before the public.

“There is no responsible leader that would not be worried when he loses one member not to talk of two. At the moment we are faced with the stark reality of our problems. I have committed my colleagues at the National Assembly to face the problem squarely and see the problem as solvable. We are in politics, I don’t know what would happen tomorrow, and nobody does,” he said.

According to Punch, a source in the National Assembly disclosed that not lesser than 20 senators are planning to leave the APC within the next week.

“The party chairman came to have a meeting with the APC senators because he said that they learnt through intelligence that not lesser than 20 more senators were planning to defect to other parties within the next one week.

“The chairman asked each of the aggrieved senators to lay bare their grievances which we all did one after the other. Having heard our problems, the chairman instructed that we put them into writing,” the source said.

The lawmaker said during Adamu’s meeting with them, the party chairman asked the senators to put their complaints into writing and promised to address all issues raised.

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Bala Mohammed meets Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt [Photos]

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has held a closed-door meeting with his Rivers State counterpart, Gov. Nyesom Wike.

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The National Vice Chairman of the PDP, South-South Dan Orbih was also part of the meeting.

The meeting with Bala Mohammed came after pictures of the Presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi meeting with Wike in his country home emerged online.

Obi says his visit to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was for the duo to discuss vital national issues.

Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi’s tweet, shared alongside photos of him and the Rivers leader, read.

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Peter Obi explains why he visited Wike

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Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party says he visited Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to discuss vital issues of national interest with him.

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Obi’s visit to Wike in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, sparked a conversation on social media as many believe the meeting was about the forthcoming 2023 elections.

But hours after the meeting, the former governor Anambra took to Twitter to explain the reason he held a meeting with Wike behind closed doors.

“Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi tweeted.

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