A former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has said that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, was not obliged to pick Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as his running mate.
Wike has been in the news in the last few weeks over rumoured defection after his alleged fallout with the PDP following the selection of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as Atiku’s running mate.
Some party leaders, including the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, had criticised the party’s handling of the primary, Wike’s treatment and the selection of the running mate of the PDP.
Premium Politics reported on Friday that three governors of the All Progressives Congress in the South-West visited Wike in Port Harcourt.
But Lamido explained that Wike, who contested the presidential primary of the PDP, said he was not using the primary to negotiate for a VP slot.
The Jigawa governor said, “I was on the panel. Now, the criteria the members of that committee might have used might have been confined within the walls of the PDP, but they chose somebody for Nigeria not for the PDP.
“If the whole thing is going to be centered on the PDP, by the time we have an in-house thing, we may lose the election, no problem, but then, whatever we do, we are going to bring it outside and tell Nigerians that this is what we are giving them, that was what we did.
“Therefore, Atiku is not obliged to pick our own recommendation. We gave him three names to choose from. In any case, (for) those who are ranting, Wike said he didn’t have the aspiration to run for vice president, and that he was running not for any negotiating purposes. He said so.
“He made it very clear. He said whatever he did was purely for that purpose and will not use his aspiration to negotiate for anything.”