Nigeria: ex-VP wins presidential primary

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – A former vice president has been designated Sunday to become the candidate of Nigeria’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming presidential election in February 2019.

This narrows the presidential contest to a quasi-two-horse race between PDP's Atiku Abubakar and incumbent Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC)

Abubakar received 1,532 votes to clinch the ticket against 11 other candidates, including the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, who gathered 317 votes to emerge third.

A total of 3,274 delegates voted in the primaries held between Saturday and Sunday morning in the oil-rich city of Port Harcourt.

“PDP, thank you for choosing me. This is a victory for all of us. The task to get Nigeria working again starts now,” Abubakar said as showed an excerpt of his acceptance speech posted on Twitter Sunday morning.

His emergence came a day after the ruling APC officially coronated Buhari as its sole candidate for the election next February. The party said Buhari had polled 14.8 million votes in its own primary last week.

There are dozens of other presidential candidates from fringe parties but analysts say the real contest will pit Buhari and Abubakar.