Former Nigeria VP Abubakar named opposition candidate for 2023 election

Nigerian former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Nigerian former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Photo credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei | AFP

Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar on Saturday won the opposition party PDP's primary to choose its candidate for the 2023 presidential election, according to ballot results.

Abubakar, 75, a northern Muslim and stalwart of the People's Democratic Party, has made numerous bids to capture the presidency of Africa's most populous country.

"Today we are making another history, history which we believe will bring about fundamental changes," Abubakar told supporters in a national arena in Abuja where the primary vote took place.

"PDP, PDP, power to the people."

The ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) plans to hold delayed primaries next week to chose its candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari who steps down after two terms in office.

The winner of February's election must tackle insecurity from a jihadist insurgency and criminal kidnap gangs as well as help Africa's largest economy recover from the fallout of the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine.