By Uche Mbah
Although the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Primaries have come and gone, facts are emerging on how the table turned in favor of the Waziri of Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar. Though it has been known that the PDP Presidential candidate has been on the drive for the presidency for three consecutive times and that he is the most prepared of the lot to take up the challenges of the presidency, it still came as a surprise to pundits why he won the election with such a clear margin.
In the run-up towards the primary elections, there have been speculations on who will carry the day. This Magazine had reported on the alleged influence of the five king- makers who were said to have tacitly endorsed the Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, to become the PDP flag bearer. Sources indicate also that Tambuwal had been the choice of the Caliphate who were said to have been unhappy with the Buhari Government because of the continued incarceration of Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser under the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan.
But as the elections went underway in Port Harcourt, a surprise came in the way that Bukola Saraki, the Senate President and Party Leader, was making inroads into the delegates enclaves. Before long, he was having consultations with different groups. He met the National assembly delegates, delegates from different states and ethnic Nationalities. Meanwhile Tambuwal is said to be riding on the goodwill of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and, according to those in the know, the establishment. Before midnight, there were three of them at the top-Saraki, Tambuwal and Atiku. Then it happened.
Those who are in the know said that about one o’clock in the morning, as the voting was underway, a former head of the then State Security Services, SSS, under a former Military president appeared in the stadium. It was said that he flew into Port Harcourt from Abuja on a mission. He was said to have walked straight to the former president Goodluck Jonathan and conferred with him briefly. He was said to have also conferred with Atiku, Saraki and Tambuwal, and the heads of the delegates. The he allegedly left. “The gods have spoken”, said the source from the South south, laughing, “and then began a complete turnover in the fortune of the former Vice President”. This was in apparent reference to former military president Ibrahim Babangida, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, retired General Abulsalam Abubakar, retired General Theophilus Danjuma and Retired General Garba Wushishi.
In the end Atiku won.
In his acceptance speech, Atiku acknowledged the role played by former President Obasanjo, his former boss, in his being able to contest-an extension of an Olive Branch to the retired General who has been known to have vowed never to allow him become president. “If the majority of the Generals agree, Obasanjo may have no choice than to follow in the spirit of oneness”, the source concluded.
Obasanjo has not officially congratulated Atiku.