Defection Looms In PDP Over Choice of Okowa As Atiku's Running Mate

A former commissioner for Information in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, has given notice that he would be leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the choice of Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the party’s vice presidential candidate.

The PDP presidential candidate on Thursday afternoon presented Mr Okowa as his running mate in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

But Mr Afegbua, who was also a former spokesperson to former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, said Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, deserves the nomination ahead of Mr Okowa.

Mr Wike came second in the PDP presidential primary on May 29 in an election in which Mr Okowa led his state’s delegates to vote for Atiku.

However, Mr Afegbua described Atiku’s choice of the Delta State governor as a reward for treachery, noting that Mr Okowa had hosted the meeting of the Southern Governors’ Forum in Asaba last year where the governors demanded that the next Nigerian president should be produced by the southern region.

Mr Afegbua spoke Thursday afternoon during a popular Arise News show, The Arise Interview.

In protest at the alleged betrayal of the declaration by Mr Okowa in supporting Atiku at the primary and in accepting to be his running mate, Mr Afegbua said he would stand aside from the PDP and support the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in the presidential election.

Mr Afegbua stressed that he would not be joining the APC but would only be campaigning for its standard bearer.

The outspoken former commissioner had also rebelled against the PDP in 2020 for handing Governor Godwin Obaseki its ticket for reelection after the governor was disqualified from the APC governorship primary for alleged forgery of an academic certificate.

Mr Obaseki went ahead to win the election on the PDP ticket as the party suspended Mr Afegbua for alleged anti-party activities.

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