Nigeria opposition picks veteran Abubakar as presidential candidate


ABUJA (Reuters) -Nigeria’s main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday elected former vice president and veteran politician Atiku Abubakar as its candidate to contest next year’s presidential election to succeed incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari will make way for a new leader when his two four-year terms end next year.

Abubakar, 75, lost to Buhari during the last election in 2019, which he claimed was rigged.

The PDP party, which ruled Nigeria after the end of military rule in 1999, was ousted from power by Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party in 2015. The opposition party is seeking to return to governing Africa’s biggest economy.

Vote counting started late on Saturday and Abubakar garnered 371 votes, defeating his nearest rival, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, governor of oil-producing Rivers state, who polled 237 votes.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Abraham Archiga; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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