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Nigerian Presidential Election 2023: Meeting the Three Major Candidates

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Presidential Election 2023
Presidential Election 2023

By Uche Amunike

 

In exactly two days from now, Nigerians will head to the polls for the Nigerian Presidential election in what looks like the largest democratic exercise ever to be witnessed in the history of the country if not in the African continent, as

the nation elects a new president.

 

It comes at a time that the country is riddled with untold security and economic problems which border on scarcity of fuel, inflation, terrorism, shortage of cash and a plummeting local currency.

 

The outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari whose term has almost been completed and who is gearing up to hand over power to his successor, is generally considered a failure by Nigerians for leaving a legacy of terrorist attacks, a dwindling economy, insecurity and worse still, what Nigerians describe as a total  loss of confidence in the leadership of the country.

 

A total of 18 candidates are in the ring for the presidential position presently, even though the strongest contenders are three in number. They are Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

 

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a political veteran and former governor of Lagos state. He has great influence in the Southwest where he is considered a kingmaker and political godfather. The 71 year old Tinubu had bragged about being a part of the successful election of President Buhari at his fourth attempt at becoming president. Recall that Buhari had made three attempts at becoming Nigeria’s president, but failed all three times.

 

Tinubu openly declared that it is his turn to be the country’s president, a statement he turned into a campaign slogan in his Yoruba dialect, ‘Emi Lokan’, meaning ‘It is my turn’.

 

He has been largely criticized by Nigerians for controversial issues like not having proper education and being involved in drug peddling and money laundering in the past, accusations he has strongly denied. He has also been largely criticized for being incoherent during his speeches and appearing lost when addressing his audience and for making gaffes that has made him an object of ridicule on social media. Nigerians have also faulted him for shying away from presidential debates.

 

Atiku Abubakar on his part is the 76 year old former Vice President of Nigeria who is running under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party. A successful businessman, he hails from the same northern region as the outgoing President Buhari. He is a capitalist who made so much fortune from his various investments in several sectors of the country. He was once under investigation for corruption but strongly denied having anything to do with it. He will be running for the sixth time, after having failed in five previous attempts. Nigerians have greatly criticized him for residing in Dubai, stating that he only comes into Nigeria every four years to contest for presidency.

 

The third and strongest contender is the former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi. Known for his unassuming nature, simplicity, humility and a vast knowledge of Economics, he is the only Christian among the leading candidates. Unlike his other two opponents, he doesn’t move with a large entourage, he carries his own luggage and he flies economy class always. He is running under the platform of a less popular party, Labour Party and is known for being prudent, even as a governor, which earned him the title Mr Stingy’. To this, he always retorts that money in government coffers is kept for building the state or country, not for reckless spending.

 

The 61 year old economist is the only candidate whom the youths of Nigeria have pledged their support to and have daily made it clear to the world at large that they would give him their unalloyed support during the oncoming Nigerian presidential election.

 

Obi has been in the spotlight for being the only hope for the redemption of Nigeria by these youths, as well as corporate bodies and almost every segment of the country. He is considered the only ‘untainted’ politician among the lot and has enjoyed massive love from all the states he has visited during the campaigns and even beyond the shores of Nigeria.

 

The die is cast and Nigerians are expectant. Nobody knows what the future holds, but in a few days, Nigerians will decide and the winner of the Nigerian Presidential election 2023 will finally be unveiled.

 

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