Written by on June 15, 2022

Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP will on Thursday commence screening of nominees to serve as running mates to the party’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

A screening committee to carry out the exercise has been constituted by the party.

A statement signed by the national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba says the setting up of the committee is in line with the party’s constitution.

Former minister of foreign affairs Tom Ikimi is to serve as the chairman of the screening committee.

Members of the committee include former Governor of Kogi state Capt. Idris I. Wada (rtd), Osita Chidoka, Binta Bello and Mutiat Adedoja. Others are Austin Opara, Prof. Aisha Madawaki, Ayotunde George-Ologun, Chidiebelu Mofus, and Fidelis Tapgun, while Akilu Indabawa is to serve as the committee’s secretary.

The screening exercise will hold at the National Working Committee hall at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja on Thursday.

The Vice Presidential candidate position has been left open for the southern part of the country, particularly the south-south region, with the governors of the party keenly interested and positioning themselves for it.

Among those touted for the role are Governors of Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and his Abia State counterpart Okezie Ikpeazu.

The entrant of the southeast governors follows a fresh push for the party to consider someone from the southeast in order to ensure the party retains its stronghold in the region amidst the surging popularity of Peter Obi, who left the PDP to emerge the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

However, sources close to the decision-makers within the party say apart from political weight, the party is also considering the financial capacity of the individual to mobilize resources needed to execute the campaign.

By allowing the party plays a major role in who emerges as the vice-presidential candidate, the PDP is also trying to avoid the disagreements that followed the emergence of Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate in 2019, a decision that did not have a broad-based input and support from the party especially the stakeholders in the southeast.

Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe

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