Former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has stated that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State made it clear that he was not interested in becoming the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election.
The opposition party had been immersed in a crisis following the outcome of its presidential primary and the emergence of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the running mate of its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a development which prompted the party to begin reconciliation efforts.
Some party leaders, including the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, had criticised the party’s handling of the primary, Wike’s treatment and the selection of the running mate of the PDP.
But Lamido explained that Wike, who contested the presidential primary of the PDP, stated that he was not using the primary to negotiate for a VP slot.
The Jigawa governor, who said he was a member of the committee that recommended three persons for presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, however, said the former vice president was not obliged to the committee’s advice.
“I was on the panel. Now, the criteria the members of that committee might have used might have been confined within the walls of the PDP, but they chose somebody for Nigeria not for the PDP.
“If the whole thing is going to be centered on the PDP, by the time we have an in-house thing, we may lose the election, no problem, but then, whatever we do, we are going to bring it outside and tell Nigerians that this is what we are giving them, that was what we did.
“Therefore, Atiku is not obliged to pick our own recommendation. We gave him three names to choose from. In any case, (for) those who are ranting, Wike said he didn’t have the aspiration to run for vice president, and that he was running not for any negotiating purposes. He said so.
“He made it very clear. He said whatever he did was purely for that purpose and will not use his aspiration to negotiate for anything,” Lamido told Saturday PUNCH.