JONATHAN FLOORS ATIKU, CLINCHES PDP
PRESIDENTIAL TICKET |
by Lere Olayinka
“That ethnic barrier that has made
us to look at ourselves not as citizen of Nigeria but as either Hausa,
Ibo, Yoruba, Fulani, Ijaw, Itsekiri etc has been broken today and we
can’t but give glory to God Almighty for once again, using our party
as a vehicle for achieving it.”
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria, this morning emerged the
presidential candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP),
polling 2,736 votes to defeat former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar, who polled 805 votes. The third contestant, Dr Sarah Jibril
scored one vote.
Chief Returning Officer of the party, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who
announced the results in accordance in accordance with Section 9
(A) of the PDP Constitution declared President Jonathan the duly
elected presidential candidate of the party.
Jonathan won 31 States, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
while Atiku was victorious in five States. The five States won by
Atiku are Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano and Kebbi where he polled
44 votes to Jonathan’s 43.
In a primary election that appeared to have rubbished the
North/South Dichotomy in the country, President Jonathan, who is
from the South-South minority area of Nigeria won 14 out of the 19
Northern States, including Adamawa, the home state of Atiku
Abubakar. Jonathan polled 76 votes in Adamawa as against Atiku’s
However, unlike Atiku, who lost in his home State, President
Jonathan secured all the 67 votes from his home State, Bayelsa.
Also in Anambra State where the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who was already tipped as
Atiku’s running mate, hails from, he (Atiku) was roundly defeated
with eight votes to Jonathan’s 47.
Another major upset at the election was Kwara State, which has Dr.
Bukola Saraki, one of the proponents of the Northern Consensus
candidacy as governor. Notwithstanding Governor Saraki’s open
support for Atiku, Jonathan defeated him, polling 61 votes to
However, the former vice president had overwhelming support from
Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano and Niger States. In Sokoto, Atiku polled 84
votes to Jonathan’s 32, Zamfara; as against Jonathan’s seven while
Atiku had 98 votes in Kano as against Jonathan’s 21.
But in South South States like Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross
Rivers, Edo and Delta, Jonathan won overwhelmingly with only two
Rivers State’s delegates voting for Atiku out of 130 that voted
and seven for Atiku out of 121 delegates from Delta State.
All the 141 delegates from Akwa-Ibom, 105 from Cross Rivers and 60
from Edo voted for the president.
Other results are; Abia: Jonathan (80), Atiku (one), Bauchi:
Jonathan (46), Atiku (44), Taraba: Jonathan (62), Atiku (16),
Federal Capital Territory (FCT): Jonathan (24), Atiku (3), Lagos:
Jonathan (52), Atiku (3), Jigawa: Jonathan (100), Atiku (17) and
Nasarawa: Jonathan (53), Atiku (8).
Others are; Osun: Jonathan (99), Atiku (1), Benue: Jonathan (72),
Atiku (15), Ondo: Jonathan (69), Atiku (6), Gombe: Jonathan (55),
Atiku (18), Borno: Jonathan (33), Atiku (26), Imo: Jonathan (125),
Atiku (3), Ebonyi: Jonathan (82), Atiku (2), Enugu: Jonathan (89),
Atiku (9), Katsina: Jonathan (147), Atiku (26), Ekiti: Jonathan
(76), Atiku (1) and Kogi: Jonathan (84), Atiku (24).
Also in Plateau, Jonathan polled 70 votes while Atiku had just
five, Oyo: Jonathan (107), Atiku (10), Ogun: Jonathan (80), Atiku
(3) and Kaduna: Jonathan ( 82) Atiku (41).
Political pundits have attributed President Jonathan easy ride at
the primary election to the overwhelming support of state
governors. Just last month, state governors on the platform of the
party gave reasons they were ready to work for and support the
candidacy of President Jonathan.
The governors, 22 in number, at different fora justified why a
sitting President and Commander-in-Chief, who is not barred by the
constitution of the country should not, therefore, be encumbered
by any other piece of legalism from seeking the presidency of his
country as long as he remained constitutionally qualified.
Almost all the state governors who made the pledge worked openly
for the candidacy of President Jonathan, making it manifest from
pronouncements and mobilisation carried out in that regard.
The stage for an impressive showing by the president was set at
Eagles Square, Abuja, venue of the primary election when he
delivered his speech and was intermittently interrupted by
ovations from the delegates.
The president took time to dwell on every point of his
administration’s achievement which he pointed out amidst ovation
from a cross section of the delegates.
“On Niger Delta, the president said; “a number of issues were
raised by some other contributors, members of this party, those
who want to be the President just as I want you to vote for me,
but I will not join issues. I will not join issues because I
believe that Nigerians and especially all the delegates know all
of us. They know our history, they know our competences, and they
will select whosoever they like.
“But one thing that you can also appreciate that even the
challenges in the Niger Delta, if we had not addressed them, the
oil price and the production would not have reached the maximum.
Everybody knows, so what are we telling Nigerians? The production
dropped to less than one third, but now we can produce more than
the OPEC quota. What caused it, and you are saying that there is
no security in the Niger Delta?”
Speaking on job creation, President Jonathan said; “Let me assure
Nigerian jobs that we are going to create jobs, we are going to
create employment, there are funds made available for the
industries to take off, we must revolutionise agriculture to
ensure that employment generation is a major event that we must
Immediately after his speech and upon resumption at the state box,
it was an enthusiastic crowd of supporters from across the
country, made up of political leaders who ushered him on and
demonstrated support for him.
Speaking with our reporter on phone after the election, Ekiti
State Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation
thanked the delegates; “for putting Nigeria first.”
“From the result of this primary election, we in the PDP have
demonstrated that Nigerians, wherever they come from can aspire to
any public office in the country without any question of whether
he/she is from the North, South, East or West.
“That ethnic barrier that has made us to look at ourselves not as
citizen of Nigeria but as either Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, Fulani, Ijaw,
Itsekiri etc has been broken today and we can’t but give glory to
God Almighty for once again, using our party as a vehicle for
Unique visitors: 1593