Following the selection of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, political office holders in Rivers state have criticised Atiku.
They warned that his decision would have implications in the 2023 elections.
Speaking on the selection, the chairman of the Ikwerre local government area of Rivers state, Dr Samuel Nwanosike accused Atiku of not honouring his words to respect the decision of the party which set up a committee to choose a running mate for him.
“There is a local proverb in my village that says nobody will tell a man that eats yam to go and drink water.
“If you are eating yam, you must look for water to drink because if you eat yam without drinking water, it will choke you.
“If he kept to his words like he said to go with the party’s overwhelming choice, then he would have respected the decision of the panel, the party’s national chairman and his team set up.”
Nwanosike claimed all stakeholders of the party recommended Wike as Atiku’s running mate.
Going further, he insisted that Atiku’s preference for Okowa would affect the former vice-president’s chances:
“He has made his calculations. And since he has made his calculations, he (Atiku) will live with the result. He will see out of his calculations. It is not the first time he has been the candidate of the party.
“He was the candidate of the party in 2019. He knows what the result was. Now he has made a decision.
So let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for the decision of the electorate.
Right now, it is no longer in the hands of Dr Iyorcha Ayu and his team. It is now in the hands of the electorate.”
Also speaking his a former member of the House of Representatives representing Etche-Omuma Constituency, Ogbonna Nwuke.
According to him, Governor Wike would speak at the appropriate time.
Nwuke, who was also former Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, however, said by Atiku’s choice of a running mate, he did not reject Wike, but he rejected Rivers State.
“I believe that our leader will speak at the appropriate time. We are members and whatever decision he makes will be okay by us because he is the one wearing the shoe now. I think it is not Governor Wike that Atiku rejected; it is Rivers State he rejected.”