For months, its campaign train moved from one geo-political zone to another, from one city to another, marketing a policy document aimed at championing a new direction for Nigeria.
For the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the 2019 general elections offered an ample opportunity to stage a comeback into governance, particularly at the centre, which it lost in 2015.
With a Presidential candidate seen by many as one of the most cerebral political figures around, the PDP campaigned vigorously across the land, reminding whoever cared to listen that the four years of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration had birthed a gloom over the nation’s psyche. Statistics on human development growth which were not in favour of the ruling party, readily furnished the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, with campaign materials with which they sought support and solidarity.
A few months to the polls, good fortune came the way of the party following the defection of influential chieftains of the APC in the mould of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Governors Abdulfatai Ahmed, Samuel Ortom and Aminu Tambuwal of Kwara, Benue and Sokoto states respectively.
Before preparations for the polls began in earnest for the PDP, there were fears of possible internal implosion given the calibre of men who had obtained Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to contest the Presidential election on the platform of the party. However, all eleven aspirants who lost out in the race rallied behind Atiku and collapsed their structures in solidarity with a common cause.
As a demonstration of his appreciation of their effort, Atiku would go on to name all of them in his Presidential campaign council even as many of them accompanied the Wazirin Adamawa in his nationwide consultations and campaign rallies.
A somewhat jibe by members of the international community at the Buhari administration coupled with Atiku’s trip to the United States and reconciliation with his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo just a few weeks to the polls convinced not a few that the former Vice President was destined to seat on a stool that had become an age-long ambition.
But as results trickled in from across the states of the federation earlier in the week, the PDP became worried, enough to hurriedly called a press conference where it drew the attention of the world to what it called a deliberate manipulation and alteration of figures collated and announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.