By Tom Ashby
Abuja - Nigeria's ruling party on Sunday chose a reclusive Muslim state governor, Umaru Yar'Adua, to be its candidate to succeed Olusegun Obasanjo as president of Africa's most populous nation in elections next year.
Yar'Adua, the 55-year-old governor of northern Katsina state, beat 11 other contestants for the People's Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to run in the April vote, which should mark the first fully democratic transition in Nigerian history.
"I want to congratulate my brother who will be my worthy successor," Obasanjo said after the vote by 4 000 delegates which began on Saturday and ended at dawn on Sunday.
Yar'Adua polled 3 024 votes with businessman Rochas Okorocha a distant second on 372.