The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has announced Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.

Atiku made the announcement at a meeting attended by PDP executives at the partyโ€™s headquarters in Abuja.

PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said a 17-member committee had been set up by the party to pick a running mate.

He said the committee had submitted three names to Atiku to choose from.

The final decision however, Ayu said, was Atikuโ€™s.

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Speaking at the announcement event, Atiku said making a choice between the three names had been a difficult decision.

He also noted that some of the qualities he looked out for include someone who understands the enormity of the challenges facing the country and one who has demonstrated, from experience, that he can proffer some solutions.

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He said he looked out for one who has the qualities of a president, who can stand in for him when heโ€™s not around.

According to him, while all the three names submitted were qualified, he had to settle for just one: Okowa.

โ€˜Congratulationsโ€™

Okowa had arrived the PDP headquarters in a celebratory mood.

Some party members welcomed him into the building with the words โ€˜congratulationsโ€™.

Okowa and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, were among names being mentioned as prospective running mates to the PDPโ€™s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

โ€˜Distinguishedโ€™ Wike

Earlier, the PDP had denied reports that it had ruled out Wike from the Vice Presidential race.

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โ€œIf anything, our Party reiterates its confidence in Governor Nyesom Wikesโ€™s outstanding ability and commitment to the ideals and values of the PDP,โ€ a statement signed by spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said.

โ€œHis records of achievement as a Local Government Chairman, Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, Minister of State for Education, currently Governor of Rivers State and the runner-up in the PDP Presidential Primary stand him out as possessing requisite qualities, qualifications, capacity and wide acceptability for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of our Party.

โ€œThe various positions creditably held by Governor Nyesom Wike distinguished him as an excellent team player in public governance.

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โ€œIn fact, Governor Wikeโ€™s energy, brilliance, commitment and passion were acknowledged by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our Party and he is adjudged as the foremost candidate in consideration for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the PDP.

โ€œWhile the PDP notes the interest of the media and the public in our Partyโ€™s choice of Vice-Presidential candidate it is imperative to state that as an organic Party, all our processes will be followed through in strict adherence to our procedures before any official announcements.

โ€œThe PDP urges Nigerians to disregard the mischievous reports aimed at undermining our Partyโ€™s unity at this critical time.โ€

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