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2023: Okowa Speaks to BBC – read his thoughts on Atiku, Wike, Ibori, Sheriff

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Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, says the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was working round the clock to resolve all issues that cropped up from the Party’s special convention held in March this year.

Okowa is the running mate to the  party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  in next year’s presidential election. Atiku defeated Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to emerge the party’s flagbearer.

Okowa made the disclosure in an interview with BBC Pidgin English programme on Monday, August 1.

The Delta State Governor, who answered questions on varied areas pertaining to the PDP, his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, Delta State politics, among others, assured Nigerians that talks with Wike would soon yield positive result and its outcome announced to all in a matter of days.

He said in a contestation like the primary election the PDP organised to pick its presidential candidate, disagreements were bound to erupt.

He assured that the party had its internal mechanism to resolve such issues.

Asked if he had had any personal discussion with Wike since after the convention, the governor told the BBC that: “We are friends. Issues like this are taken one after the other. Wike has worked hard for the party, just like some of us.”

Speaking on the chances of the PDP at the forthcoming general elections, given the array of heavyweights and the social media build up for Labour Party’s Peter Obi, Okowa said: “Atiku has an enormous experience behind him.

“He was the vice president under former president Olusegun Obasanjo. That administration worked very hard to pay off accumulated debt it inherited and also made enormous savings in our foreign reserves.

“Nigeria needs the PDP and Atiku at this time because we need to work on areas that the present administration has caused severe structural damage, especially on the foundation of Nigeria.”

His response in Pidgin

“Me I know say di man get di kain experience wey we need to run di goment for now. Di Nigeria wey we dey now today no be everybody wey tok say dem wan be president, e get those wey wan be president becos dem just wan be president, e get those wey wan be president wey dey deceive pipo.

Now no be even about di party but about who go fit do di work for now, becos to lead pipo no be about bread and butter tin oh. To lead pipo wit di way Nigeria dey now, no be di kain tin wey you dey bring somebody accidentally go put dia becos wen e reach dia, di goment go consume am e no go know wetin to do.

So we need somebody wey get plenti experience wey go fit siddon from day one, e go begin to handle di situation, somebody wey go fit command respect and cari pipo togeda siddon, get beta programme, e go dey tok to pipo and dem go understand and I believe today for all dem wey dey run, na only im get dat relevant experience.” E tok.

Speaking on the social media build ups by youths ahead next year’s election, Okowa disclosed that: “We are already talking to the youths not to allow the current situation in the country make them take wrong political decision ahead next year’s election.”

On Delta, Okowa reassured Nigerians that in the fullness of time, the PDP would be on the ballot for next year’s governorship election in the state.

He allayed fears in some quarters  following ongoing litigations around the candidature of Sheriff Oborevwori that “no matter the situation – one way or another – the party and its candidate will be on the ballot.

On Ibori, he said: “On personal level, we are friends. What’s happening in the state is politics. No  cause for worries.

“Ibori is a PDP leader and I am the state governor. What you are seeing is a party process.”

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