It was a day of joy for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Saturday in Abuja as he emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for 2023 presidential election. This will be the second time he will get the party’s ticket as he did in 2019 challenging incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku scored 371 votes to emerge as the party flagbearer defeating his close contender, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, who polled 237 votes.
Sen. David Mark, the Chairman and Chief Retuning Officer of the PDP Special Convention, announcing the results, said total number of accredited delegates was 767, the total number of votes cast was 763, while 13 were invalid votes.
Mark said that “Abubakar haven scored the highest votes in the election is hereby declared the winner”.
He also announced the votes scored by other aspirants as Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom – 38 votes, and Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State – 20 votes.
Former President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki – 70 votes; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim – 14 votes.
The only female Aspirant, Mrs Tari Oliver, and the former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa scored one vote each.
Other aspirants without vote included former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu; former Speaker of Abia State, Chikwendu Kalu; and former Deputy Speaker of Abia State, Cosmos Ndekwe.
Meanwhile, former governor Peter Obi of Anambra had earlier withdrawn from the race and resigned from the party.
Others that withdrew from the race were financial expert, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
Atiku born on Nov. 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, ran for governor of the state three times in 1990, 1997 and 1998, when he was elected before becoming the running mate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, of which he remained the vice president till 2003.
He contested for the office of the president several times, including 2014, when he ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost at the primaries to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.