Atiku Emerges PDP 2019 Presidential Candidate, Seeks Support to Solve Nigeria’s Problems

Atiku Abubakar
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Sunday, October 7, 2018 emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). polling a total delegates votes of 1,532 to defeat 11 other contestants.

The 72-year-old Fulani-born business tycoon and politician, will face his fellow tribesman and incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 presidential election.

In his acceptance speech, Atiku told party members that it was time to find solutions to challenges facing the nation, saying that PDP had been able to articulate the problems facing Nigeria and it was time to come back to power in order to address the problems.

Atiku, who was Vice President to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 – 2007, said that his victory was a landmark in the history of the party, noting that PDP had never conducted a much better primary since the enthronement of democracy in 1999. “We have witnessed the most critical and transparent primary in the history of the party.’’

He said it was time for members of the party to come together to support his ticket as he could not do it alone, adding that, he was prepared to consult with all players in the party to ensure the success in the 2019 elections.

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The PDP candidate appealed to co-contestants to support him in the fight to win back power from APC.

The Chairman of PDP, Chief 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, 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 has 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”

Atiku, a native of a Fulani village of Jada in Adamawa state, was earlier at the end of votes sorting declared the winner of the primary by his agents Messrs Gbenga Daniel and Ben Bruce.

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About 3,274 delegates were at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt and took part in the primary which produced the following results.

Atiku Abubakar – 1,532
Aminu Tambuwal – 693
Bukola Saraki – 317
Sanator David Mark – 35
Sule Lamido – 96
Kabiru Turaki – 65
Donald Jang – 19
Datti Ahmed – 5
Attahiru Bafarawa – 48
Ibrahim Dankwanbo – 111
Ahmed Makarfi – 74
Rabiu Kwankwanso – 158

72-year-old Atiku Abubakar, a businessman, who served as the second elected vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Atuiku worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director before he retired in April 1989 to go into politics.

He ran for the office of governor in the Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries.

In 1998 he was elected Governor of Adamawa State. While still Governor-Elect he was selected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate.

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The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected vice president on 29 May 1999.

His second term as Vice President was marked by a stormy relationship with President Obasanjo.

Thereafter, he ran for presidency on the platform of the Action Congress, having quit the PDP on account of his issues with President Obasanjo.

He lost the election, placing third after Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

He joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and sought the party’s ticket in 2014 but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari at the primary held in Lagos.

Atiku defected again in May to PDP where he on Sunday clinched the ticket to tackle incumbent President Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a co-founder of Intels, an oil servicing business with extensive operations in Nigeria and abroad and founder of the American University of Nigeria (AUN).

…Contributions from Twitter/NAN

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