Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar win presidential party primaries and gear up to do battle in the 2023 electoral contest.

People’s Democratic Party flagbearers in the 2019 General Elections, Atiku Abubakar (Adamawa) and Peter Obi (Anambra) have secured independent tickets to become rivals in the 2023 presidential elections.

Obi yesterday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, secured the Labour Party ticket with 97 of 98 delegates votes. He received a free pass as other contestants stepped down for him.

Earlier on Saturday, 28 May, Mr. Atiku once again secured the PDP ticket to run for the Presidency a record four times. The former Vice President has repeatedly tried but failed to make it to the Presidency since 2007.

Mr. Abubakar did not have a free pass like his former running mate. He fought hard to beat a dozen other candidates, securing 48 percent of the votes.

A hard-fighting Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, came a close second with 31 percent. However, former Governor and Senate President, Bukola Saraki managed a distant third place with nine percent of the votes.

The PDP result came as a disappointment to Southeasterners hoping to get the ticket under the party’s zoning arrangement.

The subsisting party zoning favoured southern Nigeria for the presidency in 2023. The Southeast hoped to benefit from the shift since both Southwest and South-South had turns at both presidency and vice presidency since the turn of the Republic.

Southeast hopes were dramatically dashed as candidates from the zone faired very poorly at the convention. The best performance was a miserly two percent delegate votes from sixth-placed former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim. Anyim scored 14 votes while industrialist, Sam Ohuabunwa, got a lone vote. The rest of the Southeast aspirants scored zero votes.

Obi on a mission

Peter Gregory Obi, the famed prudent manager, joined labour party barely a week before. He is riding the crest of public adulation, especially among youths voters.

He plans to build a solid voting bloc from youths who are enthused by his rhetoric and his record of service as Governor of Anambra State.

Ever the sportsman, the former Governor wasted little time to congratulate Atiku, his future rival.

The 2023 presidential election is shaping up to be a three-way fight among, Obi, Atiku and the winner of the APC primaries.

Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar win presidential party primaries