The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, in continuation of his consultations towards choosing his running mate, will be meeting ex-PDP governors and ministers, this weekend.
A source privy to the scheduled meeting told Vanguard in Abuja yesterday that the candidate will be meeting with the forum of Ex-PDP governors and ministers.
Atiku had held a similar meeting with governors elected on the party’s platform on Wednesday.
The source explained that the PDP candidate was trying “to balance all the interests before arriving at an acceptable choice.”
It was gathered that at the meeting with governors, he was inundated with requests to choose from among them.
Some of the serving governors being suggested include the first runner-up in the presidential primary and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, and Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri.
The source said: “The candidate is a meticulous person and would want a man with whom the PDP can win the elections.
“He has to think about a person who is at home with modern economic realities because of the terrible state of the economy, while also balancing regional and political interests. We also know that we don’t have the luxury of time.”
Contacted, Special Adviser (Media), to the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Mazi Paul Ibe, confirmed plans by the candidate to meet various interest groups within the party.
“This, I can confirm. Consultations are ongoing and he has scheduled several meetings at the end of which he, in consultation with the party, will bring forward a running mate who Nigerians will be glad to vote into office.”
Meanwhile, as Atiku Abubakar continues consultation with stakeholders and party leaders in search of a running mate, there are indications that if the process is not well managed, it may throw the party into another crisis
A source at one of the consultation meetings said Governor Wike made it clear that if Governor Okowa of Delta State was adopted as Atiku’s running mate, he would pull out of the party.
Former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, is said to have thrown his weight behind those opposing the choice of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Other people said to be in consideration for the vice-presidential slot, which the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the PDP is favourable disposed to include the World Trade Organisation, WTO, Director-General and former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former Acting speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; and former governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan.