Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (75) polled 371 votes to defeat 13 other candidates that included Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike, who came second. The opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s convention had over 750 delegates vote at Saturday’s convention in Abuja. Mr Abubakar is a Fulani from Nigeria’s north-east Adamawa state. He served as vice-president between 1999 and 2007 during the two terms of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mr Abubakar campaigned on promises of restructuring government. While thanking delegates for electing him, he accused the ruling party of dividing Nigeria and causing economic hardship.
“The government of the APC [All Progressives Congress] has divided Nigeria along regional and religious lines,” he said. “With you I pledge to ensure unity. I am going to deal with our security challenges in this country and to confront our economic challenges all caused by the APC government.”
Atiku Abubakar has been a top civil servant, prominent businessman and philanthropist, mostly making his fortune in the oil sector, this would be his sixth shot at the presidency.
Mr Atiku has advocated for the privatisation of Nigeria’s inefficient refineries, saying that he would sell them if he becomes president. Mr Abubakar, if elected will have to deal with high unemployment, widespread insecurity, corruption and many more myriads of challenges.