UNKNOWN to some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP political front-runners and their cronies in Delta State, who, for about two weeks, stealthily and openly ran a red mark campaign to taint the governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, over the party’s vice presidential candidate ticket was the fact that he had reconciled with his erstwhile patron, Chief James Ibori.
They also erroneously calculated that he was very anxious to become running mate to Alhaji Atik Abubakar, not knowing that on at least two occasions before the last National Convention of the party, the presidential candidate had virtually offered him the position, but he (Okowa) cautiously turned it down.
Besides the fact that Abubakar himself wanted Okowa as his running mate, former governor of Delta state and the governor’s political mentor, Chief James Ibori, who, allegedly, was pushing another candidate for presidential running mate closed ranks with his “political son” when he read the handwriting on the wall in Abuja.
A privileged source said: “The game changed positively for Okowa, Delta state and South-South region when Ibori and others joined forces with him.”
Saturday Vanguard was also informed that some high-ranking leaders mounted suffocating pressure on Ibori when they heard he was having issues with Okowa and pleaded with him to support the governor’s ambition in the interest of the state and party.
Undeniably, the smear campaign on social media was quite forceful and negative that those who knew Okowa pondered if it was the same person that his own people had so demonized.
Before Okowa, Ibori, has had a long -time relationship with Atiku Abubakar, dating back to his time as governor (1999 to 2007), both he and his successor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan were to also go for vice presidential ticket of the party but for how things turned out at the time.
The good news for Delta PDP is that with Okowa and Ibori re-uniting in Abuja after the May 25 governorship primary that stirred the Ibori PDP political family, both leaders, including Dr. Uduaghan, are now in a better frame of mind to brainstorm on how the party will galvanize Deltans for another victory in 2023.
Okowa was familiar with the final decision of Abubakar long before he was finally unveiled and was not perturbed by the earlier kite that the party’s consultative committee had picked Wike. He informally accepted the offer before the presidential candidate himself made it public on Thursday.