By FLORENCE ONUEGBU
LAGOS- The Niger Delta Rights Assembly (NDRA) says the choice of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, as running mate to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the best for Nigeria.
The President of NDRA, Chief Israel Bokromo, said in a statement on Sunday that the choice of Gov. Okowa was best for Niger Deltans in particular.
Bokromo thanked Atiku and the PDP leadership for picking Okowa, as the governor was the best man to complement Atiku in the onerous task of tackling the challenges facing the nation, if voted into office in 2023.
He said the group had earlier recommended Okowa not just because of his loyalty and commitment to the PDP.
According to him, among all those being considered, Okowa had the best comportment, temperament, human capital development performance index and electoral value to swing votes in favour of the PDP.
”We consider Governor Okowa as the most qualified for the position of running mate to Atiku and ultimately, if the electorate wills it, the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from May 29, 2023.
”We recognise the wisdom of PDP and thank the party for considering other sons and daughters of the Niger Delta region as running mate to the party’s standard-bearer.
”We are even more grateful that the PDP leadership in its wisdom, chose Okowa who has always been our top choice among the lot.
”Okowa has both private and public sector experience, starting out from private practice as a medical doctor to the public sector where he was involved as both secretary and chairman of his local government at different times.
”He later became the Commissioner in different portfolios, Secretary to the State Government, Senator of the Federal Republic and now as Governor for seven years,” he said.
Bokromo said that Okowa had also played critical roles for the PDP at different times by delivering credible, rancour-free conventions.
He said that at this time when Nigeria earnestly desired a unifier and nationalist, Okowa came in handy, as he had brought peace in Delta State by actively engaging youths and bringing development to the once restive communities.
Bokromo said that the group was confident that given Okowa’s outstanding performance in Delta, he would add real value to governance at the centre.
He said that the Delta Governor had connected with the people through infrastructure development, reliable healthcare delivery, quality education, restoration of the state’s sporting glory and youth empowerment through diverse skill acquisition programmes.
”We want to use this opportunity to caution all those condemning the choice of Okowa to desist from their evil schemes, as this will not in any way diminish his rising profile as a performing governor, a refined democrat and an icon of good governance,” Bokromo said.
He reported Atiku as saying that the person he had chosen personified not only the seriousness the current moment represented for the country, but also the future that young people yearned for and deserved.
”It is on this note that we maintain our earlier standpoint that Okowa is best for Niger Delta and best for Nigeria,” Bokromo said. (NAN)