By Ikechukwu Agada
In an eleventh hour politicking, and three sixty degrees turn around horse-trading, many Nigerians could not contain their shock and disbelief on why Atiku unbelievably dumped Wike for Okowa.
Despite coming first in a list of three key recommendations submitted to the main opposition flagbearer, the Rivers governor’s chances were blunted by allegations that he unfairly targeted Muslims in Port Harcourt when he demolished a mosque in 2019.
“We are not sure he will be able to run a campaign in the north without being asked about the mosque affair”, a source who pleaded anonymity told 9news Nigeria.
It was learned that the new electoral act made it difficult for PDP and Atiku to pick Wike because he had already contested and lost in the primaries and not qualified to be Presidential or Vice Presidential Candidate of any party.
It was also gathered that since the news of PDP picking Wike went viral, Atiku had been under pressures from many quarters to drop Wike to avoid protest votes from Nigerians who see his choice as not noble and sellable especially in the north.
Speaking with 9news Nigeria correspondent on phone, a source said that the Vice Presidential Candidate Screening exercise scheduled to hold by 10am on Thursday would be “a mere formality” as Atiku had already made his choice.
Atiku jettisoned the decision of the 17-man National Working Committee Members who recommended Wike ahead of Okowa.
Extensive Investigations by 9news Nigeria shows that many Northen Leaders ranging from Traditional, Political and Religious Leaders are opposed to the choice of Wike and have conspired to stop him by all means including threatening Atiku’s mandate. Further Investigations revealed that many of them told Atiku in clear terms to forget his 2023 ambition if he insisted on going ahead with Wike as his running mate. They see him as too powerful and vocal to control and may not be obedient as deputy.
Nigerians are watching with bated breath how this interesting politics of embarrassing Wike in the Presidential and Vice Presidential Race will play out.
9news Nigeria there encourages Presidential Candidates to play civilised politics devoid of bitterness and hatred.