The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, and the governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, responded to a statement credited to the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu.
It was reported that Bola Tinubu said his running mate (Kashim Shettima) was better than the man chosen by Atiku (Governor Ifeanyi Okowa).
Reacting to this statement, Okowa said his party’s presidential ticket with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as principal is a big threat to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 election.
He also urged Tinubu to discuss issues and not individuals in the build-up to electioneering campaign ahead of 2023.
He pointed out that the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the ruling party at the centre had given Christians a unique opportunity to cast their votes for the PDP, a development, he said, would give room for all Nigerians to be represented at the federal level.
Okowa who spoke through his media aide, Olisa Ifeajika, in a statement, said the choice of who was the better vice presidential candidate of the major political parties and the party to vote for in 2023 remained with Nigerians and not for one individual to try to influence by speaking derogatorily about opponents.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had an interview on Arise TV some days ago where he said that Sen. Bola Tinubu approached him to become his running mate of the defunct ACN in 2007, but that he (Atiku) declined the request because he was averse to Muslim-Muslim ticket”, he added.
“In response to Atiku’s comments, rather than address the issues Atiku Abubakar raised, Senator Tinubu took a swipe at me, saying that his own running mate was better than Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s choice of Senator Okowa.
“We know Senator Bola Tinubu as a good politician and former governor of Lagos State. But we expect him to know that there are other politicians that are towering and are good, patriotic and have tried in their tracks to be statesmen.
“And, Delta Gôvernor and by the grace of God, Vice-Presidential Candidate of PDP, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, is in this bracket. If Tinubu thinks that he is good, he should not foreclose that there won’t be other persons that are good or even better in politics where he thrives.
“It was his choice to pick his own running mate for whatever criteria he had. The same considerations, no doubt, the Presidential Candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had in choosing Senator Ifeanyi Okowa over all the other candidates screened”.
“We are asking Tinubu to face his contest. He has a joint ticket with whom he has chosen as his running mate just as Atiku has done. So, he should be preoccupied with how to go to the contest and leave the campaign of calumny”, the statement added.
“He should be discussing issues affecting the general wellbeing of the people, not discussing individuals”.