In a keenly-contested primary election, involving 3,274 accredited delegates at the national convention of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, this afternoon floored Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, an ally of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and ten other aspirants to emerge as the presidential candidate of the party for the 2019 election, to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari, the standard bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Atiku polled 1,532 votes, with Tambuwal coming a distant second with 693 votes. Other results are: Bukola Saraki, Senate President with 317 votes; Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso had 158 votes; Ibrahim Dankwambo with 111 votes; Sule Lamido had 96 votes; Ahmed Makarfi with 74 votes, Tanimu Turaki had 65 votes; Attahiru Bafarawa got 48 votes; David Mark scored 35 votes; Jonah Jang had 19 votes, while Datti Baba-Ahmed polled 5 votes. 68 votes were voided, while 3,221 delegates voted.
The convention, which started at 8:50 p.m. on Saturday, when the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, declared it open, had the Chairman of the Elective National Convention Planning Committee of the party, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the Governor of Delta State, assuring that the event would be free, fair, transparent and credible, while he eventually announced the results from 12:44 p.m.
Voting by the accredited delegates from the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja ended at 6:15 a.m. today (Sunday), with Akwa Ibom State having the highest number of delegates of 151, while Ogun State had the lowest delegates of 21, in view of the unending litigation and factions.
While announcing the results of the election, Okowa thanked God on the success of the convention and he congratulated Atiku on his electoral victory, wishing him well in next year’s presidential race.
In his acceptance speech, Atiku described the primary election as the most credible, transparent, free and fair, in the history of PDP, while lauding former President Olusegun Obasanjo for giving him the opportunity in 1999 to be his deputy, while admitting that he learnt a lot under his tutelage.
Atiku also lauded Wike, Rivers government and the people of Rivers state on their support for the successful convention, while assuring that he would not fail and would not be found wanting.
While speaking on behalf of the eleven aspirants, Saraki promised that all of them and their teeming supporters would work with the newly-elected presidential candidate of PDP, with the convention ending at 1:28 p.m. (Nation)