According to research by a study group, there are significant pillars Nigerians should expect that could influence the quality and legitimacy of the elections as Nigeria gears up to host its seventh straight general election since the nation’s restoration to democracy in 1999.
Some of these pillars have to do with the potential of the three main candidates, the role of the President and INEC bodies in the election, the insecurity in the country, and many others.
The long-awaited election will take place after the nation has experienced democracy for the longest time in its history—just 24 years.
This article is geared at highlighting the three main candidates and stating the factors that could land them a potential win in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
SpeedUp9ja has The three (3) main political candidates and their potentials in the forthcoming 2023 general election
There will only be 18 contestants in the general election of 2023, with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the APC, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party serving as the top three contenders.
These politicians have recently collaborated and competed with one another to win the presidency. For instance, Mr. Kwankwaso and Atiku defected to the PDP in 2019 and joined Mr. Obi, who subsequently became Atiku’s running partner.
1. Peter Obi
The Nigerian politician and businessman Peter Obi was elected to three terms as governor of the Anambra state: from February to May 2007 to June 2007 to March 2014. He was born on July 19, 1954. After leaving the Peoples Democratic Party in May 2022, obi is set to run as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate for Nigeria in the 2023 election.
When Mr. Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, was announced as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, many political observers did not take him seriously (LP). Before joining the LP, Obi ran for president under the PDP banner, running as the party’s vice presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.
It has also been widely reported that many young Nigerians, known as “Obidients,” have supported Peter Obi’s presidential candidacy, which has been characterized as “populist”. The under-30 crowd turned out to be among the biggest supporters of Obi, expressing their allegiance through social media, protests, and street marches. Young Obi’s campaign followers have been labeled “Obidients.”
According to a Business Day article, “The Obi-Dients” are drawn to Peter Obi’s worldview of austerity, economic output over conspicuous materialism and waste, and creative management and investment in important industries, for economic development and growth.” This makes Peter Obi have a very high potential in winning the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
However, Obi has often refuted the assertions of his detractors that he has a strong enough organization to secure victory in the upcoming election. The former governor claimed that those who made these assertions were alluding to corrupt and criminal political institutions, which he neither has nor strongly disapproves of.
Obi has also asserted that the structures his detractors were referring to involve bribery, corruption, and giving money to well-known political figures to gain their support and aid in election fraud.
2. Atiku Abubakar
Born on November 25, 1946, Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian politician and entrepreneur who served as Olusegun Obasanjo’s vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. In 1990, 1996, and 1998, Atiku ran for governor of Adamawa State and won. He then served as Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate in the 1999 presidential election and was re-elected in 2003.
Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate for the general elections of 2023, believes his party has a high potential of winning. According to Abubakar, who spoke to reporters after opening his campaign office in Gombe, “The PDP stands the possibility to win the presidential election being one of the biggest political parties in the country.”
According to Atiku, the party has a significant support network in Gombe State and will make use of it to guarantee victory in the elections for 2023.” The former vice president urged PDP supporters in the state to avoid defamation campaigns and instead concentrate on issue-based campaigns to win over new followers. Atiku goes on to say that he is motivated by a passion to return to the nation that has given him so much to pursue the top position in Nigeria.
Even Iyiorcha Ayu, the party’s controversial national chairman, declared that Atiku would surprise Nigerians by winning with a plurality in the 2023 elections.
Atiku Abubakar has forged ties with people in every state in the union. His extensive network of contacts and ties will give him compelling potential that will influence the outcomes of the general election in 2023. As the nominee for the PDP, one of the three main political parties, Atiku will be a key player to watch in 2023. The North, which serves as its political stronghold and has a sizable electorate, will play a significant role in determining the results of the elections.
3. Bola Tinubu
Born on March 29, 1952, Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu is a Nigerian politician and accountant who held the offices of senator for Lagos West during the Third Republic and governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. He was selected as the All Progressives Congress’s candidate for the 2023 Nigerian presidential election in June 2022.
Tinubu was born and raised in the southwest of Nigeria. After moving to the United States, he attended Chicago State University to study accounting. After moving back to Nigeria in the early 1980s, Tinubu worked as an accountant for Mobil Nigeria before going into politics in 1992 as the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for the Lagos West senate seat.
The incumbent All Progressives Congress, APC, and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, once voiced confidence that they will win the upcoming general elections in 2023. Following a visit to His Royal Majesty King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, Buhari made this claim in an interview given in the UK.
Before the general elections in 2023, the President stated that APC is fortunate to have Tinubu as its presidential candidate.
When asked about the APC’s chances of winning the 2023 elections, Buhari responded, “What are the odds that my party won’t? The election will go in our favor”.
“Tinubu, a presidential candidate and well-known political figure in the nation served as governor of Lagos State for two terms. Lagos is the most resourceful and well-traveled state in the nation. So, in my opinion, the party is fortunate to have him as a candidate,” Buhari continued.
But it appears that Tinubu has geared support from the international system. For instance, Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research has also told the press the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu will come out on top in the 2023 presidential election.
Because of his party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, the business, a division of the international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, also stated that Nigerians should expect Tinubu’s victory to lead to social unrest and riots.
The research concluded, “We retain our belief that Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling party is the candidate most favored to win the presidential election since a split opposition vote will favor the APC. If Tinubu wins, the recent pattern of rotating between Muslim and Christian presidents would come to an end, which would likely lead to an increase in protests and social unrest”.
Insecurity: what Nigerians should expect, and how insurgency/war can influence the forthcoming election
Political insecurity constitutes a significant influence and threat to the forthcoming 2023 polls. According to Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser, Nigeria recorded 52 instances of inter or intra-party unrest in just one month, from 8 October to 9 November 2022, spread across 22 states. Also, The Nigerian Elections Violence Tracker has recorded 130 violent incidents since the beginning of the year, along with at least 200 fatalities related to politics. The escalation of political violence coincided with the election season.
The Islamist militant organizations Boko Haram, Ansaru, and ISWAP have created enclaves in various locations in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger. They have repeatedly held their opposition to democracy. The Ansaru, which has ties to Al-Qaeda, has already halted conducting political campaigns in Kaduna state’s Birni Gwari local government area.
Additionally, there are over a hundred gangs of bandits operating in the northwest, kidnapping, robbing, and setting fires as part of their perceived ideological conflict with the Nigerian government. With the two sides already cooperating when it is in their mutual interests, there is a considerable probability and expectation that bandits and Islamists will interfere with the forthcoming elections.
Coming over to the southeast, the ongoing calls for Biafra to become its state provide still another significant challenge for the next elections in 2023. The separatists, spearheaded by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has subsequently split into at least three other factions, have previously called, with success, for boycotts on election day. Given the ongoing arrest of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, there is a great likelihood that Nigerians expect that they will do so once more.
The group’s military wing has also been beside notable assaults on personnel and infrastructural facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). For example, during the voter registration procedure in Imo state, an election official was assassinated.
The President: what Nigerians should expect from the role of Muhammad Buhari in the forthcoming 2023 general election
President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledged commitment to ensuring a free, fair, and legitimate general election that would be satisfactory to all the contestants will be one of the variables influencing the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
When running for the presidency in 2007, Buhari stated that he had previously been a “victim of unfair electoral processes” and promised to leave behind a strong electoral system that would guarantee the election of trustworthy leaders.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other bodies
The Electoral Act 2022, a law that offers a more reliable legal structure for the conducting of the elections by INEC, will serve as the basis for the elections in 2023. The Act provides the legal justification for more open voting, results aggregation, and announcement.
There will be significant repercussions for this year’s elections as a result of the president’s instructions to the security agencies regarding the conduct of the polls and his assistance for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Buhari has repeatedly reaffirmed the determination of his administration to never meddle with elections run by INEC
But INEC isn’t the only body that has a say in the forthcoming 2023 Poll. We have The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), which also predicted that the elections in 2023 will be the most difficult to organize in Nigeria because of the country’s growing insecurity, the readiness of the INEC electoral organization, and the behavior of the presidential candidates. Regarding INEC’s logistics operation, CDD also expressed their worry. The number of polling locations the electoral authority will staff is expected to rise from 2019 by 56,872 to 176,846.
The research firm claimed that the judiciary’s subsequent involvement in establishing the legitimacy of the election may be just as significant as that of the election administration body. In light of this, CDD recommended that security services handle insecurity and conflict in a professional and unbiased manner.
We have enumerated a list of circumstances Nigerians can expect from the forthcoming 2023 Poll. Some of these expectations stem from the outcomes of several election bodies, the President, insecurities in the Nation, as well as the diverse potentials of the three main candidates.