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