Task to get Nigeria working again starts now, Atiku vows

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has reacted to his victory at the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential primary election, saying that “the task to get Nigeria working again starts now”

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Mr Abubakar won the party’s presidential ticket by scoring 1532 votes, beating Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who scored 693 votes.

Mr Abubakar beat 10 other contestants in the PDP’s keenly contested presidential primaries during the party’s national convention which held from Saturday to Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

In his facebook page, the PDP flagbearer commended the party for finding him fit for the ticket, saying that the victory belonged to all the contestants.

He said: “PDP, thank you for choosing me. This is a victory for all of us. The task to get Nigeria working again starts now.”

DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that Atiku’s odyssey in politics started in 1990. He came to the limelight when he emerged as the Vice President in 1999 under Olusegun Obasanjo as president.

However, the first time Atiku ventured into politics was in the early 1980s, when he worked behind the scene for Bamanga Tukur’s governorship campaign.

Mr Tukur was then the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Atiku canvassed for votes for Tukur and also donated to his campaign.

Shortly after that, he met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the foremost second-in-command in the military government that ruled Nigeria from 1976 to 1979.

Mr Atiku, who then was close to his retirement as a customs officer, was drawn into the political meetings of Shehu Yar’Adua in his Lagos home.

In 1989, Mr Atiku was elected as the National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria led by Shehu Yar’Adua, to enable him to participate in the political transition programme of the Ibrahim Babangida military junta.

Mr Atiku won a seat to represent his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly set up to decide on a new constitution for Nigeria.

When the Peoples Front of Nigeria was denied registration like all the other budding parties, Atiku’s group joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was one of the two parties decreed into existence by the military regime.

In 1990, Atiku declared his intention to contest in the defunct Gongola State election as governor.

After Gongola State was split into Adamawa and Taraba States by the Federal Government, Atiku, who fell under Adamawa State subsequently won the SDP primaries in 1991 but was disqualified by the government from contesting.

Undeterred, in 1998, a year before the military hand over, Mr Atiku launched a bid for the governorship ticket of Adamawa State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He won the governorship election but before he was sworn in, Olusegun Obasanjo, the PDP’s presidential candidate tapped him to be his vice-presidential candidate.

The Obasanjo-Atiku ticket won the 1999 presidential election that ushered in the new democratic dispensation.