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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 31.

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 Atiku’s 26.

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 take on.”

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 achieving it.”
 

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