Wike leads Rivers delegates out of convention venue as Atiku emerges victor

Atiku Abubakar

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar will challenge incumbent Muhammadu Buhari for the Nigerian presidency early next year after winning the opposition Democratic Peoples Party primary, an AFP reporter at the vote said Sunday.

The former vice president scored 1,532 votes, more than double that scored by his closest challenger, Aminu Tambuwal, who had 693 votes.

After the convention, one of the presidential aspirants, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, also pledged to support Mr Abubakar.

More than 14,800,000 votes were cast in the APC primary, said Kayode Fayemi, governor-elect of southwestern Ekiti state.

The SNG convener said both the president, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Abubakar were equal match and it was Nigerians who would decide between the two.

Although the other governors were not around, the greater number of others, however, promised to do everything humanly and legally possible to deliver President Buhari during the 2019 presidential polls. "We are only working with you (Mr Abubakar) to victory".

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The senate president took a jibe at "doubting Thomases" who suggested that the convention would lead to some of the presidential aspirants walking away from the party.

"You promised us see security and today I can say to you that no section of the country is under insurgency".

The presidential flagbearer of the party will emerge from the convention.

"I can not compel all the 14 governors to vote a particular aspirant".

"We invite the whole world to note that the PDP conducted its presidential primary and a clear victor, Atiku Abubakar, emerged, without any form of disagreements or reliance on heavy security".

In his acceptance speech, Mr Abubakar praised the conduct of the primary as the best since the enthronement of democracy in 1999.

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