Atiku: How ex generals swung the vote at PDP convention
More details have emerged how former vice president Atiku Abubakar won the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Sunday at the main bowl of Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Obasanjo at the last minute nodded to his fellow generals that he is behind Atiku who he said he wont support. So he might not do it openly but the generals through Aliyu Gusua delivered to the delegates in port harcourt who their candidate is. They have always agreed on one person and they chose who they wanted in Atiku.
The 11th hour endorsement of Atiku by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other generals, which necessitated the presence of General Aliyu Gusau at the convention helped greatly.
A reliable source said:
“At about 1a.m. on Sunday morning, as voting by delegates at the PDP primaries was about to start, Retired General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau arrived at the stadium.
“Immediately many people saw him, they knew something was going to shift in one of the candidates favour.
“Lt General Gusau (retired) is not one of the Five Generals but he’s regarded as the core Man Friday of those Generals and one of the most important and feared power brokers in Nigeria. Perhaps, you won’t be wrong in calling him the sixth General. He was Chief of Army Staff during General Abacha’s tenure and was the National Security Adviser to two Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan.
“He was also a Minister for Defence in GEJ’s last few months and was one of the stabilising forces in Jonathan’s government in security circles. No one in their right senses jokes with him and he has been very loyal to the Kingmakers, preferring though to be somewhat of an adviser when called upon.
“As General Gusua arrived, he had a brief conversation with some of the powerful PDP heads of delegates and later had a brief discussion with Former President Jonathan, who was going to vote Atiku anyway and then he spoke with David Mark. Then, he spoke briefly to Atiku Abubakar.
“It was a message a few people had been waiting for. A message from the Generals.
“They had decided to back the strongest of the candidates, switching their preference from Aminu Tambuwal in the last minute.
“They had ‘reviewed’ and decided that the strongest ‘ogbologbo’ to fight Buhari among the lot and save them the stress of additional gerrymandering would be Atiku Abubakar.
“Before that point, it wasn’t clear if Obasanjo was still sulking at Atiku or not but it was enough for Atiku that Generals Danjuma, IBB, Abdulsalami and Wushishi had finally settled on him. It was all he needed.
“As whispers of this choice spread amongst key delegates, permutations changed. The Saraki camp heard of this news by 3:am and a sober realisation hit the Tambuwal camp as well.
“The owners of the PDP and the people who steer the affairs of the country had spoken. Saraki was assured of going back to the Senate, if he wishes and getting the Senate President position again in 2019. Another promise, unclear at this time, was made to Aminu Tambuwal.
“By 5 a.m., my phone buzzed.
‘It’s Atiku’ said the voice at the other end, a reliable political source.”
In his acceptance speech, the former Vice President paid tribute to his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo, while saying Nigerians were now aware of the capabilities of the APC.
Maintaining that the PDP must not be intoxicated by power should it win the presidential election in 2019, the candidate said he had garnered experience after working as the vice-president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to him, “I will not be standing where I am today if my former boss (Olusegun Obasanjo) had not made me the vice-president. All the experience I got then will impact on our government when we win. I give tribute to him (Obasanjo).”
Only two months ago, Obasanjo had said: “How can I be on the same side with Atiku? To do what?
“If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support. I do not have personal grudges with anyone.”
But more recently the former President declared that he will support anyone for 2019 presidency but Buhari, adding that “even morons know that President Buhari has failed”.