Nigeria 2019: PDP successful primaries send jitters to ruling party
What is never expected happened in the Port Harcourt venue of the Presidential primaries of the Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The party had a peaceful national convention which produced former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the PDP flag-bearer in the coming presidential election February 2019.
Atiku has contested to fly a party’s flag since 2003, a desire which has sent him on some political journey with serious political wilderness experience.
Speculations were rife that the PDP may not be able to manage the huge presidential aspirants who are eminently qualified to fly the flag. 12 presidential aspirants including Atiku contested for the ticket which Atku won overwhelmingly.
The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) is not quick to make any remarks about the candidate of the PDP for the election or prick any hole in the process which produced Atiku.
The former vice president scored 1,532 votes, more than double that scored by his closest challenger, Aminu Tambuwal, who had 693 votes. Senate President Bukola Saraki came third with 317 votes.
Speaking on behalf of the other aspirants, Mr Saraki, at the venue of the convention, pledged to support Atiku
“You truly deserve this,” he told Mr Abubabakr.
“On behalf of al of us, we congratulate you.”
Earlier Mr Abubakar had thanked his co-contestants and pledged to call on them in his efforts to help the party win the 2019 presidential election.
In response to that, Mr Saraki said “even if you don’t call us, we are here to work with you.”
The senate president took a jibe at “doubting Thomases” who suggested that the convention would lead to some of the presidential aspirants walking away from the party.
“We are all here,” he said. “We are only working with you (Mr Abubakar) to victory.”