Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, will introduce his running partner to the public this afternoon in Abuja.
According to sources close to his campaign, the announcement will be made at 12 p.m., and the nominee will then be screened by a committee that has already been appointed for that reason.
This comes after a series of discussions between the candidate and the party’s management on the subject ended on Wednesday night.
PREMIUM TIMES has learned that Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was Atiku’s final option as of Thursday morning.
“Barring any last-minute change of plans, Mr Okowa would be the nominee to be unveiled this morning,” a trustworthy campaign official acquainted with the situation told PREMIUM TIMES. “But as you know even a minute is a long time in politics.”
The Atiku Media Office’s Paul Ibe declined to comment on the identity of the vice-presidential nominee, stating that PREMIUM TIMES should wait till the official announcement.
“What I can say is that the candidate (Atiku) is anxious to conclude this process of picking a running mate so we can move to the next stage of kicking out the APC from power. His choice will definitely gladden the hearts of all well-meaning Nigerians.”
A committee had been formed by the party to recommend potential candidates to the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar .
Despite reports that the committee decisively supported Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Tuesday, his endorsement did not sit well with many party officials.
Mr Wike is not appropriate for a post that puts him a heartbeat away from the president, according to the leaders.
A number of party leaders expressed reservations about the governor’s temperament, his alleged dictatorial tendencies, and his proclivity for creating disputes with crucial friends.
Some further claimed that if Mr Okowa’s ticket is eventually voted by Nigerians, he has a stronger intellectual bent and would offer more value to federal governance.
Atiku Abubakar appeared to share their fears and switched his focus to Mr Okowa, who PREMIUM TIMES claimed was his first choice for the job.
Mr. Okowa backed Atiku Abubakar in the primaries, where Mr. Wike was his main rival.
Mr Okowa will come before a screening committee of the party after his public presentation on Thursday morning.
Political parties have till Friday (tomorrow) to submit candidate names to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2023 elections (INEC).