Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the early hours of today, Sunday, (07/10/18) polled a total of 1, 532 votes to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal to emerge as the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 general elections.
Declaring the results at the Adokiye Amiesiemaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, venue of the Special National Convention of the PDP, the Chairman, Planning Committee for the Convention, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State stated that Alhaji Tambuwal got 693 votes to emerge second place.
Other aspirants who contested at the convention otherwise known as the PDP Presidential Primary election were, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki (317 votes), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (158 votes), Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (111 votes), Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed (05 votes), Senator Ahmed Makarfi (74 votes), Senator David Mark (35 votes), Alhaji Sule Lamido (96 votes), Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa (48 votes), Senator Jonah Jang (19 votes) and Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (65 votes).
Speaking shortly after declaring the winner at the convention that was witnessed by former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Vice, Alhaji Sambo, Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, among other prominent Nigerians, Governor Okowa stated, “all the agents have endorsed this document and signed. I wish to declare that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been elected the presidential candidate of our party in the 2019 general elections.
He congratulated the winner, those who participated in the convention and the chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, adding, “We thank God for His grace; our National Chairman will invite our Presidential candidate to make his acceptance speech.”
Alhaji Abubakar in his acceptance speech, said: “Today, we are witnessing a landmark event, I thank the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Governor Okowa – this is the most credible, transparent and fair primaries; let me also commend my co-aspirants for the display of a sense of unity, a sense of purpose, they have shown that the interest of this party and interest of our country is paramount to personal interest.
“I cannot do it alone, I need your support, I need your assistance, it is not a one man job, it is a collective responsibility, together we will succeed and after we succeed, we will be partners in the success story,” he said, adding, “this is the most innovative electoral process this party has had since 1998 and we have learnt a lot from this exercise.”
He continued: “We cannot afford to fail Nigerians at this point, because Nigerians are yearning for the PDP to return to power, they have seen the mismanagement of the government of the APC, through collective efforts, PDP shall return to power in 2019.”
The Presidential candidate disclosed that it was not just enough to identify the challenges of the country but, the PDP shall proffer solutions to those challenges.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on behalf of all the presidential aspirants congratulated Alhaji Abubakar, pledging to work with him to achieve results.
Saraki said: “today is a great day for this party because it has shown that the interest of this party is more than our personal interests; we thank Governor Okowa for organising a free and transparent election; we congratulate Alhaji Abubakar for the victory, we are here to work with you (Alhaji Abubakar) to achieve success because we all know what Nigerians are yearning for.”
PDP Chairman, Prince Secondus, said: “For the first time in the history of our country, a political party have conducted a free and fair election; with all of us here, we want to let the All Progressive Congress know that we are set to take back our country; we expect the Independent National Electoral Commission to learn from this process; I believe the PDP is now united to carry the most civilised campaign to reclaim our mandate in 2019.”