Nigeria – Opposition PDP Selects Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili Joins Race
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has selected former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its candidate in the presidential elections scheduled for February 2019.
Atiku emerged victorious from the party’s elective congress, held in Port Harcourt this weekend, with 1,532 votes. His closest competitor was Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal with 693 votes.
As the former ruling party the PDP is expected to be the major competition to incumbent President Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Atiku defected from the APC and returned to the PDP in December last year. A number of key figures have decamped from the APC to the PDP in recent months, criticising President Buhari’s track record on various fronts, from managing the economy to fighting insurgency.
Former minister and activist Oby Ezekwesili, who is known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, has also announced her intention to run for the position on the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) ticket. Ezekwesili’s candidacy brings a strong female contender to the race and with both Buhari and Atiku in their 70s, Ezekwesili may also be better positioned to reach out to a younger generation of voters.