Nigeria: Exclusive – Atiku Vs Wike: How State Delegates Voted At PDP Presidential Primary

Governor Nyesom Wike, who picked reasonable votes from Lagos, won Oyo and Ekiti, where he got the backing of Governor Seyi Makinde and former Governor Ayodele Fayose respectively. But Atiku won overall.

PREMIUM TIMES has obtained details of how the various state delegates voted at Saturday’s Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.

The primary produced former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the opposition party for the 2023 presidential election.

Atiku polled 371 votes from the 767 accredited candidates to edge his closest opponent, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who polled 237 votes.

A last-minute withdrawal by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, swung the contest in favour of Atiku as delegates from Mr Tambuwal’s North-West stronghold and from other states where delegates had pledged their support to him all turned their votes to Atiku.

North-West

The North-West geopolitical zone has seven states comprising Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Kaduna. Altogether, the states sent 193 delegates to the convention.

Mr Atiku won five of those states, except Kano where the loyalists of a former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso, gave their 44 votes to Mr Wike; and Katsina where the two frontrunners shared the votes.

Mr Kwankwaso left the PDP earlier this year to run for president under the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) but his loyalists still constitute the leadership of the recognised faction of the PDP in the state and gave all the votes of the 44 delegates to Mr Wike.

In Katsina, the Rivers State governor got a share of the votes due to the support of Garba Lado, a former senator who was last week nominated the governorship candidate of the party for 2023.

Mr Atiku was supported by a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shema, and he succeeded in getting a good number of delegates to vote for the former vice president.

Mr Wike also expected a good showing in Kebbi, but Aminu Bande, the retired army general who won the party’s governorship ticket, did not quite deliver for Mr Wike. Delegates from the states gave their votes to Atiku in solidarity with Mr Tambuwal.

North-Central

The six states in this zone – Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau – were shared by Atiku, Mr Wike, and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who had a clean sweep of the votes of the delegates from Kwara, the state he hails from and governed for eight years.

Atiku and Mr Wike shared the votes from Niger State with former Governor Babangida Aliyu delivering for the former while Zainab, the wife of Mr Aliyu’s predecessor, the late Abdulkadir Kure, worked for the Rivers governor.

Atiku won Plateau and most of the votes from Nasarawa. However, Mr Wike got seven votes in Nasarawa where he supported the man who won the governorship ticket of the party, David Ombugadu, and had expected to get more votes in reciprocity.

Mr Wike won in the Federal Capital Territory through the support of the sole senator representing the capital, Philip Aduda, and shared the votes with Atiku in Benue and Kogi.

Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel had some of the Benue votes through his campaign director, former Governor Gabriel Suswan; but Governor Samuel Ortom backed Mr Wike while the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and former Senate President David Mark ensured Atiku got some votes from the state.

North-East

The North-East geopolitical zone has six states, comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe. Atiku is from Adawama and he won outright in four of the six states in his home zone, except Bauchi which went to homeboy Governor Bala Mohammed and Taraba which he shared with Mr Wike.

The Governor Wike camp got pledges of huge votes from Gombe, Borno and Bauchi but the promises were not fulfilled. The leaders of the party and delegates from the states left the Rivers governor disappointed.

South-West

In this zone, votes in the six states of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo were shared between Atiku, Mr Wike and Mr Saraki. The former vice president won in Ogun, Ondo and Lagos. Mr Saraki won in Osun. Mr Wike, who also picked substantial votes from Lagos, won Oyo and Ekiti where he got the backing of Governor Seyi Makinde and former Governor Ayodele Fayose respectively.

The Wike camp had banked on Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate in the last governorship election in Ondo State, to deliver the votes of delegates from the state. That did not happen and the Rivers governor’s people remain disappointed in the politician.

South-East

This geopolitical zone has five states – Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. Atiku won in Anambra (with the support of Ben Obi, Chris Uba and other leading PDP politicians from the state) and Imo (with the support of Emeka Ihedioha). Mr Wike won in Abia and Enugu through the support of Governors Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi respectively. Former Senate President Pius Anyim won the votes of the delegates from his home Ebonyi State.

South-South

Mr Wike won in three of the six states in his home zone. He won Rivers, Cross River and Edo. Although Mr Wike had a public falling out with Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, he won the state because the governor’s adversary in the battle for the control of the PDP in the state, Dan Orbih, took his faction’s delegates to the convention and delivered them to the Rivers governor.

However, the delegates from Delta and Bayelsa ignored the governor of their neighbouring state, Mr Wike; and gave their votes to Atiku.

Governor Udom Emmanuel swept the votes of his delegates from Akwa Ibom to take his overall tally to 38.

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