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By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

A Plateau State support group for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar called, Plateau For Atiku Movement has joined in commending the choice of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as the running mate in the 2023 Presidential election saying Okowa can support his principal to give good governance.

The group which comprises elders, leaders, and stakeholders of the PDP in the State stated the timely choice of a Vice when other political parties are still contemplating indicates the readiness of Atiku to hit the ground running when voted in as President.

In a statement issued through its Protem Secretary, Professor Shedrack Best, and made available to journalists in Jos, the group noted, “Atiku’s choice of a running mate has demonstrated his capacity, leadership, and readiness for the general elections and governance, at a time when his competitors in other parties show hesitation, confusion and lack of readiness.

“His selection of the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate meets the specifications of the office which the PDP Flag Bearer himself once occupied, bringing together attributes of a bridge builder, humility, simplicity, appeal, experience, and service, all at a time Nigeria requires healing.

“We thereby stand with this respectable decision. We wish to affirm that it remains the prerogative of the candidate to select who best he thinks he can work with, albeit in consultation with other leaders and stakeholders of the Party, and amidst many qualified persons.”

Professor Best, a former Secretary to the State Government, stressed that the group has been concerned about the rising voices of opposition in the Party, either against the person of the running mate or the process leading to his selection, saying “This public criticism coming from a section of leaders, some of them too senior to be ignored, is worrisome. We take note that some have been associated with a complexity of issues in the Party, including the zoning of the Presidency, which has come and gone.

“As democrats, we invite all leaders and stakeholders to rise above this seeming drawback to the eminent progress that the PDP is making towards clinching the Presidential seat of the nation. We find it inappropriate for some stakeholders to give conditions to the party for supporting the Party to victory. We call on all aggrieved party leaders to sheath their swords, accept the decision of the flag bearer and move to the next stage of reconciliation.

“We implore the flag bearer to pay adequate attention to calming all frayed nerves. It is sweeter to continue the discussion in the Presidential Villa than lose out due to spots of grievances as they are exhibited at the moment. We wish to specially commend His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for his unflinching support to the Party at the most trying moments, and his leadership and doggedness. His sportsmanship in the last Presidential primaries is also worthy of note. We look forward to him; to maintain that role until the PDP dislodges the APC from the government to bring relief to Nigeria.”

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