Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has explained and justified his emergence as the running mate for Atiku’s PDP as a balancing act of ethnicity and region. He emphasized that he is an Igbo from south and that will balance the PDP presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku from the north.
According to Okowa as he spoke to ARISE TV: “Being from the South-South, I’m also an Igbo man. I fit into all the divides. My brothers in the South-East, I’m part of them. I’m also part of the South-South. But this does not stop the agitation in the future for the Igbos to have the presidency of this country.”
He continued “For me, yes I’m from Delta State. I’m definitely an Igbo man. There’s no doubt about that. I’m from Delta State in the South-South, but if you’re looking at the Igbos across the country, I’m an Igbo man, I can’t be counted out and that is the true situation.”
“The issue of the vice presidency has not been on the debate where it will go to is actually premised on the fact that when the presidential candidate emerges he looks for what possible zone and what person can work with me and what can be part of the team that can make us actually succeed in governing the people aright. I think that is what informed the decision.”
For Abubakar Atiku emerging as the PDP flagbearer for 2023 general elections, Okowa said, “There are two geo-political zones that feel shortchanged; The North-East (where Atiku is from) and the South-East geo-political zone, because none of them, no son from these zones have actually been president of this nation. They obviously have a point and I believe that we sympathize with them.
“And I believe also that since one of us has emerged from the North-East at this point in time, it’s a good sign for the future, that if the North East has the opportunity and by God’s grace Atiku becomes the president, then it’s a good sign that the South-East will have the opportunity.”
Governor Okowa is an ‘Ika’ from the Owa-Alero community in Delta State. The Ika people is a subgroup of the Igbo tribe and is predominantly found in Delta and Edo States.