Nigeria hold elections today

Today’s election in Nigeria includes a 3-Horse Race between Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi.

Pictures of the candidates
Image credit: 
Staring from Left : Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi

Nigerians will vote today to choose a new president to succeed Muhammadu Buhari in a battle that pits the political establishment against a third-party contender looking to overthrow the status quo.
The National Assembly, which consists of 469 legislators made up of 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives, will be electing members in addition to the presidential candidate.
With more than 93.5 million people eligible to vote, the presidential and legislative elections are expected to be the most competitive since the most populous country in Africa made the transition from military to democratic administration in 1999.
There will be over 176,600 voting places throughout the nation, including in camps for those who have been uprooted by fighting between federal soldiers and jihadist militants in the northeast.

Close Election Race

The election on February 25 may be the most credible and competitive in Nigeria since the end of military dictatorship over 25 years ago, as well as the first in which a presidential candidate from outside the two major parties has a chance of winning.
Even though there are 18 candidates, including a woman, on the ballot, only three are thought to be the front-runners.
Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi, a wild-card candidate who defected from the PDP to the smaller Labour Party and is currently leading in at least five polls, square off against former governor of Lagos and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

In 2013, Tinubu and Buhari co-founded the All Progressives Congress, which is currently in power. Tinubu is the party’s flag bearer.
The 70-year-old, who served as governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, is a powerful figure in the southwest, giving him the moniker “Godfather of Lagos.” The wealthy businessman has endured repeated accusations of corruption, which he denies.
In the early 1990s, he began his political career by criticizing military government. After years of building political, ethnic, and religious coalitions across Nigeria, Tinubu is running for president for the first time. He is Muslim and of the Yoruba ethnic group.
He wants to maintain the policies put in place during the Buhari administration, including the development of public infrastructure, increased central bank involvement in the economy, the elimination of an expensive fuel subsidy, and the expansion of the military.
Kashim Shettima, Tinubu’s running mate, is a Muslim who hails from Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, where he served as governor during the height of the Islamic insurgency. Shettima’s selection broke with the customary practice of presidential contenders picking a running partner from a different religion.

Atiku Abubakar

On behalf of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, which Olusegun Obasanjo led to victory in 2015, Atiku is running for office.
After losing to Buhari in 2019, the 76-year-old former vice president is making a third push for office. Similar to Tinubu, Atiku has been hounded by accusations of corruption, which he has brushed off as unfounded.
He intends to liberalize the exchange rate, provide a bigger role for the private sector in the economy, privatize the state oil business, and give the military additional equipment.
Atiku, a Fulani Muslim from the north, runs a number of enterprises including one in port logistics. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, a Christian governor from the oil-producing Delta state, is his running mate. The selection of Okowa indicates a plan by Atiku to gain support in the predominantly Christian south.

Peter Obi

Young voters have given Peter Obi a lot of buzz, and he plans to use Nigerians’ frustration with the status quo to fuel his third-party presidential campaign.
Atiku’s running mate in 2019 was the 61-year-old, bespectacled former governor and banker. As the governor of the state of Anambra, which experienced a rare budget surplus in 2014, he claims he is proud to stand by his record.
In order to mobilize the vote of restless and increasingly disenchanted youth who are fed up with traditional politics and the old guys who often control them (Tinubu and Abubakar are both in their 70s), he has used a sophisticated social media campaign.
Analysts, however, doubt the validity of the polls Obi is leading and point out that he lacks the resources and broad political support that the other two have amassed over years. Through increasing agricultural output and exports, he pledges to progressively wean the economy off its reliance on oil, treble electricity generation, remove the multiple-rate naira exchange rate regime, and properly fund the armed forces.
Obi is a Christian from the Igbo tribe in the turbulent southeast of Nigeria, where some of its members are pushing for secession. Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, an economist and former senator from Kaduna state in the north, is his running mate and the founder of Baze University in Abuja.

The Elected President

President Muhammadu Buhari is only the second incumbent in Nigerian history to voluntarily resign after serving two democratic terms. Whoever Nigerians choose as his or her successor would have to deal with a number of crises that have gotten worse under the retired army general’s administration.
Banditry and militant violence, which now prevail throughout most of the nation, systemic corruption, which discourages investment and enriches a well-connected elite, high inflation, and widespread cash shortages as a result of late last year’s botched introduction of new legislation are a few examples. To address these challenges, all three contenders have made fairly comparable commitments.
All candidates signed a peace pledge last Wednesday, pledging to seek legal remedies for any incidents of violence or disorder that may result from a close election being challenged and causing further unrest.
At the signing ceremony in the nation’s capital Abuja, Buhari declared, “This is the only country we have, and we must do everything to maintain it safe, united, and peaceful.” “Once the election results are announced, there shouldn’t be any rioting or acts of violence.”
A key issue in a country with a long history of electoral fraud and violence is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) claims it has taken steps to assure that this election will be free and fair.

Leave a Comment