Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has for the second time in a row won the Presidential ticket of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Atiku polled 371 out of the 767 accredited votes to defeat his closest rival , Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who polled 237 Votes former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, came a distant third with 70 votes.
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim scored 14 votes, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed 20 votes and Udom Emmanuel 38 votes.
Dele Momodu and Ayo Fayose, Charles Ugwu, and Chikwendu Kalu scored zero votes each while Tarella Diana and Sam Ohuabunwa each received one vote each.
After an initial scare, the Presidential primary of the party went on smoothly in Abuja, on Saturday.
Before the commencement of voting, the chairman of the Chairman, 2022 PDP National Convention Organising Committee, Sen. David Mark, announced that one of the aspirants had an announcement to make.
Party members and delegates waited with their hearts in their mouths as the Sokoto State Governor, Waziri Tambuwual approached the dais.
Soon after he climbed, he dropped the bombshell- he was withdrawing from the race.
He based his decision on wide consultations noting that it was in the best interest of the party and the nation.
Tambuwual urged his supporters to vote for Atiku. The crowd of supporters went wild in jubilation.
His decision altered earlier permutations prompting of speculations that delegates from the North West would vote for Atiku in block.
Matter were further complicated by an announcement by the David Mark-led Electoral Committee banning the use of electronic devices such as phones from the voting area.
This did not go down well with an agent of one of the aspirants who protested openly.
The Electoral Panel also announced that of the 774 delegates expected to participate in voting, only 767 were accredited and were the ones cleared to vote.
Wike, Atiku, Saraki engage in open popularity contest
Leading Peoples Democratic Party Presidential aspirants on Saturday engaged in an open popularity contest at the venue of the ongoing Special National Convention .
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike caused a stir when on arrival he lead a team of his aides to the Oyo, Plateau, Ogun, Ondo, and Sokoto Stands to greet delegates.
They cheered and sang his praises with delegates from Rivers leading the chant of his name and singing a local song in his honour as he waved them while clutching a traditional elephant tusk.
He went on to greet delegates from other states in their stands.
As if taking a queue from Wike, Atiku also moved from his seat and made his way to the delegates stand to pay homage . He raised his hands in greeting while his supporters hailed.
Not long after, Senator Bukola Saraki , joined the fry as he started his round of greetings from the VIP stand before making his way to the delegates stand.
The APC has brought nothing but sorrow to Nigeria—Mark
In his address of welcome, the Chairman, 2022 Peoples Democratic Party National Convention Organising Committee, Sen. David Mark , expressed sadness that the All Progressives Congress-led administration has brought nothing but sorrow, tears and blood.
According to him, Nigeria is today in the grip of kidnappers and other miscreants because of the failure of the ruling party to provide leadership.
This, he said, was the reason why the PDP is seeking to return to rescue the nation and set it on the path of development.
Mark said, “This Congress is the first step towards this process. Today our students are at home for over three months on account of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike for failure of government to address issues affecting the education sector.
“Fellow countrymen and women are today in captivity with kidnappers and our government has mortgaged the future of Nigerians by ceaseless borrowings with nothing tangible to show. Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world.
“The intractable insecurity situation, raising unemployment, poverty, ineptitude and corruption and above all the poor management of our diversity have become the hallmark of the APC administration. These have made living in Nigeria worthless.”
After his address, National Chairman of the PDP, Sen. Iyiochia Ayu gave a run down of activities carried out by the party under his watch.
He also said Nigerians were looking up to the PDP to provide leadership because they were tired of the rudderless APC regime.
Ayu said, “Nigerians have woken up from the anesthesia of false promises. They have seen the limit of propaganda. And they want a return to development which PDP represents.”
After several other speeches, aspirants were given five minutes each to address delegates.
In his address, Atiku appealed for unity among party members.
He also appealed to party leaders who felt slighted by recent events during the last state congresses to bury the hatchet in the over all interest of the party.
While expressing gratitude to the party leaders for the orderly conduct of the convention, he said “ I hope the primary would be organized in a credible manner.
“Therefore distinguished delegates, I want to appear for unity in this party, no matter the discrimination, provocation and threats, it is only temporal.
“ I am distressed that a number if our members are excluded from the process that that have taken place across the nation..I appeal to them to be patient and bear with the party. They say no condition is permanent.”
Tambuwual in his address said Nigeria was at the Cross Roads and was in dire need of redemption.
He said, “We are at a Crossroads. I decided to throw my hat in the ring after due consultations with the various strata of the Nigerian society. I poses the qualities required to rescue Nigerians.” He later withdrew for the contest.
Another aspirant, Dele Momodu, decried what he described as ‘dollar rain’ but said he was undaunted because of his passion for Nigeria.
He said, “ Some have ran away because of the dollar rain but I’m still standing.”
On his part, Senator Bukola Saraki, said, “This is a defining moment for our country. This is a moment that we must chose hope against hopelessness, we must chose peace and security over fear.
“The destiny of over 200 million Nigerians is in your hands. The candidate you select today will mark the beginning. “
Saraki said he was the man for the job because he ticked all the boxes of competence and capacity adding “enough talk, let’s fix Nigeria.”
EFCC operatives storm venue of PDP convention
Amidst speculations of dollar rain by Presidential aspirants, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrived the Velodrome of the MKO Abiola Stadium Abuja to monitor proceedings.
Over a dozen officers dressed in their official red over coats with EFCC boldly written behind were sighted moving around the delegates stand .
12 void votes
Speculations are rife that the some of the aspirants especially the top five gave aspirants amounts ranging from $5,000-$20,000 each to sway votes in their direction.
One aspirant, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen who earlier withdrew, based his decision on the monitozation of the process.
He said he was withdrawing from the race on “moral grounds”.
Another aspirant, Dele Momodu also alluded to the huge amount being spent by some of his opponents in his address to delegates.
He said while others had left the race because of the “dollar rain“, he was still standing undaunted.
Accedited delegates 767
1) Abia 17
2) Akwa Ibom 31
3) Anambra 20
4) Bauchi 20
5) Bayelsa 8
6) Borno 26
7) Benue 23
8) Cross River 18
9) Delta 25
10) Ebonyi 13
11) Edo 18
12) Ekiti 16
13) Enugu 17
14) FCT 6
15) Gombe 11
16) Imo 24
17) Jigawa 27
18) Kwara 16
19) Kogi 21
20) Lagos 20
21) Kaduna 23
22) Katsina 34
23) Kano 43
24) Kebbi 21
25) Niger 25
26) Nasarawa 13
27) Ogun 19
28) Ondo 18
29) Osun 30
30) Oyo 33
31) Rivers 23
32) Sokoto 22
33) Taraba 16
34) Yobe 17
35) Zamfara 12
36) FCT 6
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