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Atiku emerges PDP presidential candidate

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has received the People’s Democratic Party, PDP presidential nomination, and will run as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

The returning officer of the election, Senator David Mark, made the announcement.

In a hotly contested race that saw four competitors stand down, he was closely followed by Nyesom Wike and Bukola Saraki, the two-term governor of Kwara state and former Senate President.

Atiku wrote on twitter: “Today, the battle to rebuild and unite our great country moves forward. I’m honoured to be named the @OfficialPDPNig candidate. I look forward to speaking with Nigerians across the country, taking the message of hope and unity as we build one future for one people. -AA #OneNigeria”.

Voting

12 void votes

Total votes – 763

Valid vote – 751

Atiku Abubakar – 371

Nyesom WIke – 237 votes

Tari Oliver – 1 vote

Sam Ohuabuwa – 1 votes

Anyim Pium Anyim – 14 votes

Udom Emmanuel Gariel – 38 votes

Bala Mohammed – 20 votes

Bukola Olusola Saraki – 70 votes

Results were collated at about 10:30PM after delegates were accredited and voted.

The states were called in alphabetical order, and opened secret voting ensued for about an hour.

Tambuwal withdrawal

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal withdrewn from the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential race, in an announcement he made during the special national convention of the party on Saturday.

He is the fourth to withdraw from the contest.

He said the decision was to sacrifice for the good of the people and for the PDP to minimize rancour and jostling for power.

He said it was also for the good of the country and threw his support for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

774 delegates

774 were elected adhoc delegates for the convention, though 767 are said to be present.

14 people are contesting for the position, out of the 17 that had initially indicated interest.

Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, a former bank chief withdrawn from the race, while Peter Obi withdrew his membership from the party and joined the Labour Party and Anakuenze Nwachukwu withdrew during his last pitch at the convention.

The event began at 6:30PM Saturday.

Rumours circulated that the party planned to postpone the event, which it denied.

Many aspirants arrived at the venue, the Moshood ABiola Stadium in Abuja, including Nyelsom Wike, Bukola Saraki, and Atiku Abubakar.

A large crowd had gathered, and security was struggling to keep it under control.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was seen at the scene.

PDP’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said in an opening remark that Nigeria was in horrible shape and that the party was on a mission to rescue and rebuild the country.

He praised the party for holding free and fair primaries across the country, saying it was laying the groundwork for the All Progressives Congress to follow suit.

Each presidential candidate was given five minutes to make their final presentations to the delegates.

Atiku Abubakar

He said the convention was historic and unique, which he believed would clinch the seat of the president from the ruling APC in the 2023 election. He appealed for unity and calm within the PDP.

Anakuenze Nwachukwu

He withdrew from the race and said he will support the best candidate that would unite the whole country, alluding that he thought the party would zone the president position to the south east, hence his intital intention to contest the postion. He had earlier released a statement saying he will support Nyesom Wike for the ticket, according to TheCable.

Ayim Pius Ayim

He said the party should not disappoint the expectations of Nigeria, promising to restore the greatness of the country if elected.

Udom Gabriel Emmanuel

A moment to decide where Nigeria goes, insisting he knows what the country needs and implying he has what it takes to “rescue and restore” her.

Ayodele Peter Fayose

The former governor of Ekiti and a controversial figure, said he knows he can defeat incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari’s successor. He said all members should be willing to work with whomever emerges victoriuos.

Barr Chukweudu Kalu

He has the character to be able to move the country forward, calling today important as he beleives the delegates have the burden to represent Nigeria and thus should make the best decision for eveyone. He said “If you vote for me, i think i know what to do”.

Senator Bala Muhammad

I will give from my experience as a journalist, civil servant, a senator, minister and governor, saying it has positioned him to understand the intrigues of the country. I am prepared to serve because i am from eveywhere. He called on the delegates to be exhautive in choosing the right candidate that would ‘rescue’ the country, saying he was fit for the position. “Please trust me”, he added.

Dele Momodu

He said he has religious diversity to understand the intrigue of the country’s divide. He flaunted his family’s educational prowess, which he said was inportant in a leader.

Sam Ohuabuwa

Former president of the pharmcuetical society of Nigeria. He said he would make Nigeria an investment haven. Fight insecurity and uphold justice.

Tari Oliver

The only female aspirant said the permanent solution to Nigeria was to give the grassroot power which she said would be a cardinal point in her government if elected. She harped on boosting electricity, technology, youth empowerment and women representation.

Bukola Saraki

A 2-term governor of Kwara state and former seante president. Saraki was cheered on by supporters as he approached the podium. “Choose peace over terror and fear, choose unity over disunity”, he echoed. He called on delegates to elect a candidate that has the capacity and knows the issues and that can unite the country. He said he ticks all the boxes of what a ‘true’ leader should be and promised to bridge religious and ethinic divide.

Aminu Tambuwal

He said he is a bridge between the young and the old and said he will inintroduce vigor and intergrity in the 3 arms of government if elected president.

Charlie Ugwu

The next speaker became unaudible due to noise emitting from supporters of Nyesom Wike, when he was called to be on standby to address delegates.

Nyesom Wike

He promised to support the victor of the primary election and said if elected, he would solve and unite all warring parties in the PDP, to position it for taking over ‘power’. Leadership is the major problem of Nigeria, he said adding that he had what it takes to westle power for the APC.

Dr Muhammad Hayatu-deen

He had withdrawn from the presidential race.

Writing by Saadatu Albashir