A former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, garnered 1,532 votes to beat 11 other presidential aspirants who contested for the flagship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the party’s special elective national convention held at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
Atiku, Vice President to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, polled almost 50 per cent of the entire 3,274 total votes cast during the PDP presidential primaries, which began last Saturday with accreditation of delegates but effectively commenced, yesterday, at about 1.20pm with announcement of the result at around 11am.
Atiku was trailed by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambunal, who got 673 votes while the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki scored 317 votes for the third position in the keenly contested but transparent election.
Other aspirants include Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, 158; Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, 111; Sule Lamido, 96; and Senator Ahmed Makarfi with 74 votes.
The rest are Kabiru Turaki, 65 votes; Attahiru Bafarawa, 48; Jonah Jang, 19; David Mark, 36; and Ahmed Datti with five votes.
A total of 68 votes were voided of the 3,274 total votes cast in the election.
With Atiku’s emergence as the PDP’s standard bearer, he will now slug it out with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who was endorsed at the ruling party’s national convention held in Abuja, last Saturday.
The PDP flagbearer will battle Buhari in the February 16, 2019 Presidential election with other presidential challengers from other political parties.
Atiku, the Waziri of Adamawa, decamped from the APC this year following what he described as the failure of the party to fulfill its electioneering promises to Nigerians.
He has since then been a critical and opposing voice of the APC-led Federal Government and advocate of re-structuring of the Nigerian Federation.
Virtually all the other 11 contestants embraced and congratulated Atiku over his re-sounding and landslide victory.
Similarly, all the PDP governors, including Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, also congratulated Atiku for his victory.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has congratulated the candidate of the PDP for the 2019 presidential election, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Wike personally extended his congratulations to the former Vice President after his election was announced by the Chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
The Rivers State governor, who was in company of his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Emmanuel Udom assured that he will continue to work for the success of the PDP.
Wike thanked all PDP delegates and stakeholders for ensuring a successful and peaceful National Convention in Port Harcourt.
The former Vice President paid tribute to the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for his personal commitment to the success of the party.
He also thanked the people of Rivers State for their support for the transparent process.
Similarly, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has said that in the just concluded presidential primary of the PDP, there was no victor and no vanquished.
Giving a speech after the declaration of Atiku Abubakar as the winner of the polls, yesterday, Secondus said that all the aspirants in the election won the election.
Secondus insisted that the process being free and fair, had all the aspirants contesting as brothers, adding that although a winner had been declared, the credibility of the process was a victory for PDP and all the aspirants.
He called on the aspirants to keep true to their congratulatory message to Atiku Abubakar, urging them to work together as one bloc to ensure that the PDP clinches power in 2019 and save Nigeria.
Secondus also used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “learn from the presidential primary of the PDP and know that election can be free and fair”
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki who scored the third highest vote in the election congratulated Atiku Abubakar, pledging on behalf of all the aspirants to work with Atiku to actualise the goal of a PDP president in 2019.
Calling for an adjournment of the convention, Senator Abiodun Olujimi enjoined all parties to work as one to ensure the success of the PDP in 2019.
The convention was thereafter adjourned.
Earlier, ahead of the 2018 PDP National Convention, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had welcomed all delegates of the party to the state.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike assured the delegates of a memorable stay in the state.
He said: “The good people of Rivers State are most delighted and honoured to play host to the distinguished National Delegates of our great party as we elect our Presidential flagbearer this weekend and collectively work towards rescuing our nation from the brink of collapse.
“As we gather for this all-important national convention, I assure all delegates of our great party of their security before, during and after the convention. Working with the security agencies and other stakeholders, we will ensure that your stay in Port Harcourt is memorable. “
The statement further quoted the Rivers State governor as saying: “Once again, I welcome all delegates, journalists, observers and other visitors to Rivers State, the Treasure Base of the Nation. While you are here, enjoy the peace, love, cuisine, heritage and hospitality of Rivers State and her people.
“I pray for journey mercies as you return to your respective destinations. I welcome you.”
The National Convention of the PDP hold between October 6 and 7, 2018 at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Also, the Senator representing Bayelsa Senatorial East District, Ben Murray-Bruce, has reacted to the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 general elections.
Atiku scored 1532 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Aminu Tambuwal, who polled 693 votes.
Reacting, Ben Bruce, who took to his Twitter page to congratulate Atiku on his victory, asked Nigerians to vote for the Turakin Adamawa come 2019.
According to him, a vote for Atiku will make Nigeria work again.
He wrote, “I am right here staring at my camera at Atiku, the next President of Nigeria
“Let’s Get Nigeria working again.”
A former aide on New Media to erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, while reacting on his official Twitter page, congratulated Atiku for the victory.
He wrote, “@atiku is the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by God’s grace!”
Also, the Publisher of the Ovation Magazine and former Presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu, said ,”Congratulations to Turakin Adamawa, Waziri Atiku Abubakar on clinching the PDP Presidential ticket and salute his doggedness since his first appearance on the political stage 25 years ago against Chief Moshood Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and others.”
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who took to his Twitter page to congratulate Atiku on his victory, asked the ruling All Progress Congress (APC), to get ready for war.
He wrote, “Congrats to the Waziri of Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar on a great victory. Now is the time for each and every one of us in @OfficialPDPNig to come together as a party and prepare for the presidential election. @APCNigeria get ready for war! @MBuhari prepare for your retirement!”
Similarly, Nigerians on social media have reacted to the emergence of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as the People Democratic Party (PDP), presidential candidate.
Reacting, some Nigerians congratulated him, while others claimed President Muhammadu Buhari would win 2019 election because of Atiku’s alleged corruption cases.
Some of the comments read, @ileowokikiowo, “Let me be the first to congratulate Nigeria’s President @MBuhari for winning a second term in 2019. Nigerians won’t vote the PDP presidential candidate who is wanted in the US for corruption related activities. His fellow fraudsters have served their own term in US prison.”
@Nedunaija, “Atiku will spend the whole of this campaign season struggling to deny corruption allegations.”
@Elcruficixo, “Congratulations to H.E Abubakar @Atiku who wins the PDP presidential primaries with a vote of 1585. Actually, my second favourite candidate.”
@Stanleynwabia, “@atiku is already a billionaire business man; he won’t be coming as President to use Nigeria’s money for his UK Healthcare.”
@doctorchiemeziem, “Who Atiku picks as his running mate will make or mar PDP’s chances in 2019. If he can’t get an astute manager like Peter Obi on board, he should get Okonjo-Iweala or Femi Adesina on board let’s show APC what a national movement looks like.”