2023 Presidency: Atiku dumps Peter Obi, opts for Wike as running mate

Atiku Abubakar, former vice president, has reportedly dumped Peter Obi, his running mate in the 2019 presidential election.

Mr Abubakar widely known as Atiku has not declared interest in the contest yet but his son said his father will seek the exalted position again.

Business Day, citing sources, reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain has decided not to run with Mr Obi, a former Anambra governor, due to the little financial contributions the latter made during the 2019 exercise that saw them losing to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

He is said to have now preferred Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as running mate against the former governor who is also said to lack the political structure expected of him.

“Prior to the 2019 election, Governor Peter Obi didn’t have a strong political structure outside the South East,” the paper quoted a source as saying. “People just loved him because of his vast knowledge of the economy, winning an election goes beyond all that.

“For instance, since he left office and joined PDP he has not been able to have his nominees win the governorship election in the state. Although he is brilliant and can speak good grammar, interprets the economy very well, winning an election is much more than that. How much did he bring to the table?

“To successfully run an election in this country you need money, connection, strong and vast political structure, etc, and these you find in abundance in Nyesom Wike. He is a good material any day and that’s not the kind of man you leave behind, especially if you want to win election in Nigeria,” the source added.

The new development might have informed the decision of Mr Obi to contest the ticket if his party zones it to the South or throws the race open.

Mr Wike who is reportedly backing his Sokoto State counterpart, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, for the race, was not immediately reached for comments on wether he has accepted the offer from Atiku.