Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has not been officially confirmed as the running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the PDP Presidential Candidate, as the party has now set up a properly constituted Vice Presidential candidate screening committee (VPSC), to officially select a running mate for the Presidential Candidate.
It would be recalled that national Chairman of the PDP, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu had, on Tuesday, June 14 and in a widely reported ceremony at NWC Hall, National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, in Abuja, inaugurated a National Advisory Committee which had been given the specific task of picking the vice-presidential Candidate of the party before Friday, June 14.
The committee, chaired by the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the PDP, Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum and comprising Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue),Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), as well as former governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers) Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, among others, was reported to have voted on the three names recommended by the General Aliyu Gusau committee.
The three names, according to multiple inside sources were said to be Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).
Addressing members of the committee just before they went into a closed door session, National Chairman of the Party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, had amongst other things, urged the meeting to come up with a conclusion “between tomorrow and Friday.”
The committee had reportedly voted on the choice of a Vice Presidential candidate and according to reports which were not denied, Govenor Nyesom Wike scored 16 votes out of 19 votes while Governor Okowa got the remaining 3 votes, thus making the Rivers governor the winner. There was no abstention.
However, following the conclusion of the assignment by the Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum led National Advisory Committee, which many news platforms (including this publication), had concluded was the final say on the Vice Presidential nominee matter, given the clear mandate and admonition of the PDP National Chairman, while inaugurating the committee, a Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee (VPSC), has now been inaugurated, in accordance with the provisions of the Party’s constitution, to officially see to the selection of a running mate, for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
It has ostensibly been set up with the original intention to beat the INEC deadline of Friday, June 17, for submission of names of Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates, from all political parties participating in the 2023 general elections
The recommendation/decision of this newly constituted Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee (VPSC), supported by the Party’s constitution, according to knowledgeable PDP insiders, is expected to supercede that of the National Advisory Committee set up by the National Chairman.
The setting up of the Committee was contained in a press Statement by Hon. Debo Ologunagba, PDP National Publicity Secretary, which disclosed that the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) has approved the nomination of some party members to serve on the Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee, for the screening/verifying of the nominated Vice Presidential Candidate of the Party for the 2023 general elections.
The statement reads as follows:
June 14, 2022
PDP Constitutes Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee (VPSC)
Pursuant to Part VI, Paragraph 14 of the the Electoral Guidelines of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Working Committee (NWC) has approved the nomination of the following Party members to serve on the Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee for the screening/verifying of the nominated Vice Presidential Candidate of our Party for the 2023 general elections.
The members of the Committee are as follows
1. High Chief Tom Ikimi – Chairman
2. H.E. Capt. Idris I. Wada (rtd) – Member
3. Chief Osita Chidoka – Member
4. Rt. Hon. Binta Bello – Member
5. Chief Mrs. Alh. Mutiat Adedoja – Member
6. Rt. Hon. Austin Opara – Member
7. Prof. Aisha Madawaki – Member
8. Mrs. Ayotunde George-Ologun – Member
9. Chief Mrs. Chidiebelu Mofus – Member
10. H.E. Fidelis Tapgun – Member
11. Dr. Akilu Indabawa- Secretary
Mr. Sunday Omobo – Administrative Secretary
The screening exercise will hold at the National Working Committee (NWC) Hall, PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 10am.
Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary