Atiku Abubakar, has explained why he chose Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his presidential running mate.
The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, gave the explanation during the unveiling ceremony at the party’s National Headquarters in Abuja.
Okowa is spending his second term as governor of Delta State.
Atiku said he chose Okowa ahead of two other persons who were in the frame, Governors of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states because he wanted a mate who understands the sufferings of Nigerians.
In his words: “My running mate must understand the great suffering that our people are going through and the urgency of relieving them of that suffering, understands the critical importance of economic growth and development to provide our young people with jobs, hope and a pathway to good living.”
In describing Okowa, who has been widely credited to have invested heavily in the education sector, Atiku said, “The person must appreciate the critical importance of education in the development of modern societies so we can prepare our young people to be able to compete in the increasingly competitive and globalized world.”
Atiku added that, his running mate “must understand that without security, development will be very difficult because local and foreign investors who have been scared (away) already will not return to invest in our economy.”
He further described Okowa as someone who is unassuming, pointing out that his running mate “must be a person who will stand by me as I confront the frightening level of insecurity in our land. As you know, the APC government went to sleep as huge swaths of our territory fell into the deadly hands of gangs of criminals including those masquerading as freedom fighters or pastoralists while genuine pastoralists are unable to go about their business, I am one of them.
“Because destruction of human lives and properties have been enormous, my running mate must, not only symbolizes the imperative of reuniting our country, but also be able to work with me to achieve that objective.
“Let me say that the person I have chosen as my running mate possesses those identified qualities, he personifies not only the seriousness the current moment represents for our country, but also the future that our young people yearn for and also deserve.
“He is a serving governor, who has demonstrated that governance is about service to the people. I know that he will not only add excitement to our already energized campaign, but will also help to bring focus, discipline and stability to our government come 2023.
“He will be by my side as I work hard everyday to provide our people with security, revive our economy, improve education and unite our country. He has both legislative and executive experience,” Atiku said of Okowa.