(Last Updated on May 30, 2022 by zimdaily)
ABUJA – Nigeria’s main opposition party on Saturday named former vice president Atiku Abubakar as its candidate for the 2023 election to replace President Muhammadu Buhari. Abubakar, 75, a northern Muslim and stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party or PDP, has made numerous bids to capture the presidency of Africa’s most populous country.
He won most ballots from PDP party delegates who voted in a primary election in Abuja on Saturday, beating a challenge from Rivers State Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
“Today we are making another history, history which we believe will bring about fundamental changes,” Abubakar told supporters in a national arena in Abuja where the primary took place.
“PDP, PDP, power to the people.” The PDP and Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) were both scheduled this weekend to select candidates for the presidential race in February.
But a day before its primaries were to start, the APC announced that it had pushed its party convention back a week to June 6 through June 8. Earlier on Saturday, PDP delegates and political leaders packed out an Abuja national arena, decked out in the opposition party’s red, white and green colours.
Buhari, 79, leaves office with Nigeria still struggling to end a more than decade-long jihadist conflict in its northeast and a wave of violent banditry and mass kidnapping in its northwest.
Africa’s largest economy is also still recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and fallout from the Ukraine war that has pushed up fuel and food prices across the continent.
The PDP ruled Nigeria for a decade and a half before its then-president Goodluck Jonathan was ousted by the APC alliance in 2015 to bring Buhari to power.