Former Vice President, Abubaka Atiku today Sunday October 7 clinched the PDP presidential ticket in an elective convention of the party at the Adokiye Amasiemeka stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Atiku won by pulling 1532 of the total 3221 votes cast by the party delegates at the convention. His closest rivals were favorite, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal with 693 and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, with 317 votes. The biggest surprise was arguable that of the former Kano State governor, Musa Kwakwanso who came a distant fourth with only 158 votes.
With the result, Atiku Abubukar has been formally declared the winner by the convention electoral panel and will be leading a PDP-led coalition of nearly 40 other parties named the Coalition of United Peoples Party (CUPP) to challenge the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling APC in the February 2019 elections.
In his short acceptance address, Atiku thanked the party and her delegates for the honor of choosing him as the party’s flagbearer. He said, “Mr. Chairman, I am humbled. I pledge to you and party members that you will not find me wanting. This is a culmination of a political career that is about 40 years. I have participated in five primary elections, some successful, others not. I am moved by this outcome. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this opportunity and I promise I will not fail you.”
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) October 7, 2018
But in a moving concession speech by the Senate President Saraki on behalf of other aspirants, who were stood side by side with him, Saraki described the electoral process as “transparent and open”. “Let me on behalf of my colleagues thank you on your well deserved victory”, he told Atiku.
“Sir, you said yourself that this has been a journey but you stayed on course and today you truly deserve this victory. On behalf of all of us, congratulations. You said this is not something you are going to do alone, let me assure you, we are here, you only need to call us, and even if you don’t call us, we are here to work with you.”
Saraki berated those he called the “doubting thomases who thought some of the aspirants will not be here, that some will walk out. But we are all here, we are not walking out, we are all walking with you to victory.”
The convention actually started yesterday continuing non-stop to the announcement of the result this afternoon. In attendance had been party delegates, officials, aspirants and their supporters and other party big wigs including former President Goodluck Jonathan and his then deputy Namadi Sambo who lost power to the APC in 2015.
The convention was adjourned sine die by the party Chairman, Uche Secondus, and brought to an end two days of carnival-like activities at the convention ground and months of politiking and crisscrossing across the country by aspirants to woo party delegates. Davido – the Nigerian multimillionaire pop artist earlier entertained at the convention.
All is now set for an epic political battle for supremacy between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the challenger People Democratic Power hungry to return to power after three and half years in the cold.
APC yesterday at Eagle Square, Abuja, ratified President Muhammadu Buhari as her flag-bearer for the February 2019 elections.