Nigerian Presidential Election 2023: Profile Of Top Four Candidates (Photos)


Here are the top four candidates for Nigerian Presidential Election 2023.

The 2023 Election is here again on 25th February 2023.

All Eligible Nigerian will be going out this morning to cast their votes for candidates of their choice

The 2023 election cycle includes elections for governorship and members of parliament at the federal and state levels.

Elections will be held in all 109 senatorial districts and 360 constituencies in Nigeria’s bicameral federal legislature on February 25, the same day as the presidential election.

Two weeks later, 28 of the country’s 36 states hold the governorship and state parliament elections in March 2023.

(1) Presidential election:

18 Political parties are fielding candidates for the Presidential election.
Campaigns end mid-night Yesterday. And what parties are doing is internal arrangement and preparation for successful outing of their respective candidates.
There will alignment and realignment among candidates and parties.

(2) National Assemblies Election:
109 Seats are been contested for in the Red-Chamber (Senate)
360 Seats are been contested for in the Green Chamber (House of Rep)

INEC has began the distribution of both sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the various local Government, from where it will be further distributed to the various ward and Polling Units.

It will be an interesting day ahead for the 2023 General election.

Below are the top four candidates;

PDP Candidate

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (THE UNIFIER)

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, 76, is running for the sixth, and probably last time. Another multimillionaire, Abubakar is a northern Muslim from the Fulani ethnic group. When Buhari was still in politics, Abubakar’s chances to win the presidency were seen as slim. But with the current president out of the competition after two consecutive terms, Abubakar now hopes to win the polls in the north, where the largest blocks of voters reside.

But the septuagenarian will likely struggle to capture the younger electorate in a country where most of the nearly 10 million newly registered voters this year are under the age of 34.

To highlight his track record, Abubakar points to his term as vice president between 1999 and 2007, when he headed an economic team that implemented successful reforms in the telecommunications, pensions and banking sectors. He likes to take credit for a particular policy that he says led to jobs and economic growth during this time, and which he has promised to repeat for the country. The policy in question is designed to allow the private sector to play a greater role in the economy, thus liberalizing the exchange rate of the naira currency.

Abubakar is dogged by accusations of misappropriation of funds and cronyism dating to his time in public office. He, too, has denied all wrongdoing.

Atiku Abubakar’s solution for the rampant insecurity issue in Nigeria is to provide more equipment to the military, which is battling an Islamic extremist insurgency in the northeast, rebels in the northwest and secessionists in the southeast, as well as criminal gangs across the land.

Abubakar has chosen Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa for his running mate, a Christian governor from the oil-producing Delta state, hoping to thereby generate support in the largely Christian south. This is all the more important, as there is a feeling among southern governors that it was their turn to present a candidate for the presidency after a northerner held office for the past two terms.

APC Candidate Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu (THE ÈMI LÓKÀN) – “IT IS MY TURN”

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 and a multimillionaire, is an ethnic Yoruba Muslim from the country’s southwest. A co-founder of the All Progressives Congress in 2013 alongside outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, the 70-year-old likes to expound on his role as kingmaker.

But now, he said, “it’s my turn.” While he faces some stiff competition, he has the major advantage of being able to use the state apparatus to mobilize support for the incumbent party in power.

Tinubu’s political career started in the 1990s, when he voiced his opposition to military rule in Nigeria. He has spent many years building political, ethnic and religious alliances throughout the country, before taking his stab at the presidency.

Despite his erstwhile opposition to military, he has promised to expand the military to end the Islamist insurgency that has been raging in the north of the country for 13 years. But voters have heard that promise before from Buhari, who has failed to deliver on it.

What do Nigerians want from the presidential election?

Tinubu must also contend with accusations of corruption and misappropriation of funds, allegations which he has denied. So far, nothing has stuck despite documents being shared by the US Justice Department dating back to 1988, which show that accounts in his name held proceeds from sales of heroin.

One charge against him brought by a firm two years ago was settled out of court. He was also cleared twice by Nigeria’s Code of Conduct Tribunal of allegations of breaching the code of public officers.

That hasn’t stopped Tinubu’s opponents from using the allegations as ammunition in the battle for the presidency, including charges saying he was involved in vote buying in 2019.

Tinubu has also been fighting off suspicions that his health is failing by posting videos of himself exercising on a bike. Since President Buhari had to undergo repeated medical treatments abroad, Nigerians have become wary of having a head of state with health problems.

Tinubu’s running mate is Kashim Shettima, a Muslim and former governor from northeastern Borno state. The choice was aimed at atracting voters in the predominantly Muslim North. However, the decision has upset many Christians, who regard it as a break with the tradition of having a mixed-faith ticket.

Labour Party Candidate, Mr Peter Gregory Obi (THE OBI-DIENTS)

Peter Obi of the Labour Party has distinguished himself from the two main contenders by being only 61 years old. He has framed himself as the anti-establishment candidate in hopes of harnessing votes among those who feel anger at the status quo.

The former governor of Anambra has managed to win the support of mostly young, urban southern Nigerians hit by economic hardship, joblessness and insecurity. They call themselves the ‘Obi-dients.’

Some recent polls have seen Obi ahead in the race, but experts caution that these surveys are flawed, as many Nigerians refuse to disclose whom they are voting for.

A high voter turnout could significatly bolster his chances of winning in a country which is notorious for apathy at the polls, analysts have said. According to the Nigerian Electoral Commission, only 35% of registered voters went to the ballot boxes in 2019.

Obi is a Christian Igbo, an ethnic group from the southeast which has factions agitating to secede from Nigeria. In 2019, he was Abubakar’s running mate for the Peoples Democratic Party but left the party, claiming that he was “disenchanted” by the nomination process.

Caps with images of the three main contenders in Nigeria’s presidential electionCaps with images of the three main contenders in Nigeria’s presidential election
Some critics have said all the main candidates are ‘cut from the same cloth’Image: Abraham Achirga/REUTERS
Obi has pointed to his performance as Anambra’s governor, which posted a rare budget surplus 10 years ago. He has also maintained that he is “clean” as opposed to his rivals, although he has been accused of dodging taxes, a charge he has denied.

Another candidate to promise better funding for the military, Obi has also argued for the need to diversify the economy in order to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on oil exports. He wants to renegotiate the country’s debt and enable the private sector to thrive.

Obi has also stated his conviction that this time around, Nigerian voters would eschew religious, ethnic and tribal loyalties which typically help the major parties dominate elections. But to be on the safe side, he has chosen Yusuf Baba-Ahmed as his running mate, an economist and former senator from the northern Kaduna state.

The former governor of the southeastern state of Anambra, whose emergence and strong showing so far has effectively disrupted the traditional two-horse race, is also being projected as a surprise winner of the vote.

Multiple polls have predicted a win for the Labour Party and Obi, who has a large following among Nigerian youths who are disenchanted with governance in Africa’s largest economy. He was on the PDP ticket alongside Abubakar in 2019.

Obi, a wealthy capitalist famed for his frugality and overseeing an infrastructure drive during his time as governor is running with Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, a former senator from the northwestern state of Kaduna.

New Nigerian Peoples Party Candidate

Engr (Dr) Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso

Seen as a wildcard in the race, Kwankwaso comes with enough experience to match the other frontrunners. A former two-time governor of Kano and defence minister, he has served in the two houses of parliament.

He is immensely popular among the youth in his home region for his welfarist politics. One big achievement was a significant scholarship scheme that benefitted thousands of students from low-income households in Kano, previously known for its high numbers of the almajirai, out-of-school child beggars.

Kwankwaso is running alongside Isaac Idahosa, a bishop in the Pentecostal Christian denomination, who hails from Edo State in the south.