2023 Elections: Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, and Kwankwaso Run for President of Nigeria
On Saturday, four leading candidates for the position of President of the most populous nation in Africa cast their ballots in Nigeria at the appropriate polling places.
Although there are 18 candidates running, pollsters and experts have characterised the race as a four-horse battle between Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party, and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.
Both Kwankwaso and Atiku are natives of northern Nigeria, Obi and Tinubu are from the country’s southern region. The two terms of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is up for reelection on May 29, 2023, are set to expire, and the four heavyweights and leading contenders each enjoy significant support.
Most of the 176,606 polling places in Nigeria’s 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, where 87.2 million people with Permanent Voter Cards are eligible to vote, opened for registration and voting at 8:30 am on election day to choose a new president and members of the National Assembly.
I’m too confident in my ability to win, Tinubu
In Bourdillion, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Tinubu cast his ballot on Saturday.
Together with other party leaders and his wife Remi, Tinubu cast a vote.
Speaking to reporters, he declared that Nigeria’s democracy “is here to stay” and that he is “very confident of victory.”
He claimed that the voting process was “doing well” and “moving smoothly.”
“This is expected, we need a good turnout and that is the adoption and the commitment to democracy and the democratic process must take place,” the APC candidate stated in reference to the voter turnout.
Unquestionably a force in the race is the former governor of Lagos, who served two terms from 1999 to 2007 and is a member of the incumbent’s party.
Smooth Procedure — In the Agulu neighborhood in the Aniocha Local Government Area of the Anambra State in Nigeria’s South-East geopolitical zone, Obi Obi cast his ballot at polling unit 19.
After the polling line for roughly 30 minutes, Obi and his wife Margaret cast their ballots at approximately 11:45 on Saturday morning.
After casting his ballot, Obi told reporters that the process was “seamless”.
Youths like Obi, who served as governor of Anambra State from 2006 to 2014. The 61-year-old businessman, who is competing against Datti Baba-Ahmed of Kaduna, has been expected to win in numerous pre-election polls.
Atiku Exudes Confidence
Atiku cast his ballot at Polling Unit 012, Ajiya Ward in Adamawa State’s Yola North Local Government District. He cast his ballot with his wife, Titi.
The former vice president, who spoke to the media, expressed optimism and confidence that he would win the presidential race and succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, whose two-term term ends on May 29, 2023.
In 2019, Atiku ran as the PDP’s candidate and finished second with almost 11 million votes, just behind Buhari, who received more than 15 million votes.
Kwankwaso Requests More Time
In a polling place in the Kano State town of Kwankwaso, part of the Madobi Local Government Area, Kwankwaso cast his ballot.
After casting his ballot, Kwankwaso spoke to the media and stated that the polling place didn’t open for voting and accreditation until 11 am instead of 8:30 am. In order to encourage his supporters to vote, he made an appeal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Former Kano State governor and former Minister of Defense Kwankwaso is 66. With the strong presence of his sociopolitical movement, the Kwankwasiyya movement, in Kano and other states, he commands a “cut-like following” in North-West Nigeria.
President Buhari urged Nigerians to cast their votes for their favorite candidate while voting in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, with his wife, Aisha.
Before the election on Saturday, the President had repeatedly reassured the public that he would hold free and fair elections on February 25 and March 11, 2023, and that there would be a smooth transition on May 29, 2023.
Similarly, Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the electoral commission, gave Nigerians assurances about the prompt publication of election results at a news conference on Friday.
Since 2011, a Record-Breaking Poll
The use of the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS), a technical system mandated by the Electoral Act of 2022 that permits the accreditation of voters through biometrics capture and the uploading of results among other things, is one of the election’s unique features this year.
Because of operational, logistical, and security issues, INEC historically postponed the general elections in 2011, 2015, and 2019. However, the 2023 elections will be remembered as historic because they are the first to occur on time since 2011.
Three times in 2011, INEC changed the election dates. The first change occurred on April 2, 2011, after voting had already started in several states. The postponements were then blamed on the late arrival of election materials in some regions of the country, according to INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega.
Elections for the National Assembly, governorships, and state Houses of Assembly were moved from April 23 to April 26, while the presidential and National Assembly elections were further pushed back to April 9 and then April 16.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Goodluck Jonathan, a former governor of Bayelsa State and the acting president at the time, was named the election’s victor.
The situation was the same in 2015 when INEC delayed the elections six days earlier than originally planned due to security concerns. The election board moved the governorship and state assembly elections to April 11, 2015, while moving the presidential and national assembly elections from February 14 to March 28.
The insurgency in Nigeria’s dangerous North-East region, which Jega claimed could jeopardize the safety of election workers, voters, and materials, was to blame for the postponement, according to Jega.
In the hotly contested election, former military leader Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) upset incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP to win.
The 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections were moved from February 16 to February 23, while the Governorship/State House of Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections were moved from February 16 to March 9, 2019, citing “logistics and operational plans.” This is a repeat of what happened four years ago.
The incumbent, Buhari of the APC, won the 2019 presidential election and was given a second four-year term.