The main opposition party in Nigeria has picked former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.

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 received 237 votes.

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 received 237 votes.

The 75-year-old lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 during the last election, which he claimed was rigged.

The PDP, which ruled Nigeria after military rule ended in 1999, was removed from power by Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party in 2015.

In his acceptance speech, Abubakar reiterated his campaign promise to end insecurity in the country and revive its fragile economy, among other pledges, and promised to work with his opponents.

Abubakar has stood in six primaries, and next year’s vote will be his third presidential bid.

From 1999 to 2007, he was vice president to Olusegun Obasanjo, the first Nigerian leader after the end of decades of military rule.