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Obasanjo Wins PDP Presidential Primaries (Posted 10th January, 2003) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

On Sunday January 5, over 3,000 delegates of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) from all 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory converged at the Eagle Square, Abuja to elect the party's flag bearer for the presidential elections slated for April.

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria's Current President.By the time the votes were counted at around 10.15 am on Monday 6th January, 2003 the nation's incumbent President, Olusegun Matthew Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo resoundingly defeated other aspirants to win his party's ticket for the forthcoming presidential elections 76 % of all votes cast.

Barnabas Gemade got 17 votes, Abubakar Rimi received 159 of total votes cast, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Alexander Ekwueme scored 611 votes, while the winner, Olusegun Obasanjo carried the day with 2, 642 votes. There were invalid votes cast on the day, mostly for Omar Sanda Ike Nwachukwu who decamped to the National Democratic Party from the PDP a few days to the presidential primaries.

Before the delegates started voting , all four aspirants were given 5 minutes each to address the delegates and observers. Barnabas Gemade came first and spoke on the need for change with himself as the catalyst. He was followed by Abubakar Rimi, 2nd Republic Governor of Kano Sate. Rimi also focused on the need for change. He reeled off his credentials and achievements as an administrator and also as a politician and believed that this should convince the delegates to vote for him. Dr. Alex Ekwueme, 2nd Republic Vice President also insisted on a change of leadership. Last was the incumbent President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo with Atiku Abubakar, his Vice President beside him. He announced Atiku as his running mate, if given the party's ticket to run again for President. He listed the reasons why he should be allowed together, with Atiku, to continue. He had brought light where there was darkness, had brought the joy of reliable GSM telecom to the shores of Nigeria and many more worthy developments.

According to two of the party's stalwarts, Olusegun Agagu, former Honorable Minister for Power and Steel and present gubernatorial aspirant for Ondo State and Honorable Dubem Onyia, the current minister of state for foreign Affairs, the convention was clearly well-organised and transparent. Mr. Agagu also added that it was far better organised than the last convention in Jos four years ago.

A positive outcome of the PDP primaries is the openness and stark transparency of the whole exercise. This could be a pointer to the forthcoming elections as a contrast to past turbulent transitional elections in 1963 and 1983 as examples.

With this victory Olusegun Obasanjo awaits other Presidential flag bearers from the other 29 political
parties, who are billed to hold their primaries in the coming weeks. The 2003 election will probably
be most keenly contested one if all parties present candidates. Although, feelers from the political grapevine points to a coalition of all the other political against the PDP.

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