The Sunday Review
Nigerians will Head to the polls Saturday in An intensely contested presidential election that analysts believe is close to calling.
It will be the largest democratic exercise on the continent as Africa’s most populous nation picks a new president.
The crucial Wahl The country faces a variety of security and economic problems, such as fuel shortages, increasing terror attacks and high inflation.
For the first time since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999: No incumbent nor former military leader is among the nominees.
The term limit for the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari was extended will In the midst of a mixed legacy, it is time to step aside “a lot of frustration and anger” Analysts say Nigerian voters will vote.
There are 18 candidates in Running for Nigeria’s highest office, each confident they can turn the country’s fortunes around if voted into power, but opinion polls suggest three are leading the race for the popular vote.
One of the key contenders is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Another is the main opposition leader and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Nigeria’s presidential elections have typically been two-horse races between the ruling and opposition parties, but this year’s vote has a third strong contender, Peter Obi, who is running under the lesser known Labour Party.
Tinubu is 70 and a former governor Nigeria’s wealthy Lagos State, wields significant influence in He is revered as both a political godfather, and kingmaker in the region of southwestern Mexico.
Affluent politician boasting of aiding the election Buhari was elected president in the fourth attempt in 2015. After three failed bids in the past.
Tinubu has spent decades working as a political puppetmaster and now it is his turn to become the president. His campaign slogan is “Emi Lokan,” Which translates to “it is my turn,” in He speaks Yoruba in his native language.
But, the candidate for ruling party has been plagued by accusations of graft, which he strongly rejects. Critics say He also hasn’t addressed health concerns convincingly and has sometimes been confused on the campaign trail. He has also failed to make gaffes This has made him the most viral memester on social media.
One of Tinubu’s main challengers is the opposition party’s Abubakar, who is running for the sixth time following five previous losses.
Abubakar, now 76 and vice-president from 1999 to 2007 is an ardent capitalist who has made his fortune through investing. in various sectors in The country. An investigation has been launched into the corruption of the businessman. in The past is gone. However, he denies any wrongdoing.
Many believe Abubakar’s presidential ambition might usurp an unofficial arrangement To rotate the presidency Nigeria’s northern and southern regions, since he is from the same northern region as the outgoing leader, Buhari.
Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State twice, is considered credible as an alternative to the major candidates.
Obi shuns all things typical ‘African Big Man’ Leader He avoids large groups, travels economy class and has his own baggage. His “no frills” Approach has drawn a lot of support, mostly from young Nigerians calling themselves “self” ‘Obidients.’
Obi is the only Christian of the top candidates. The president of his southern region, Obi has never been elected vice president. Nigeria Returned to civil rule in 1999.
The ruling party’s Tinubu, although from the religiously mixed southwestern part of the country, is a Muslim and also chose a Muslim running mate, fueling public anger He made the right choice.
Tinubu describes it as “Mr. Stingy,” Obi, aged 61, is well-known for his frugal attitude and is considered an atypical American. ‘Mr Clean’ Nigerian politics
But, his offshore accounts were also found. in The Pandora Papers exposed hidden wealth of global elites through the Pandora Papers in 2021. Obi denies wrongdoing.
Two years ago elections There are concerns that this has been delayed and fears of another will They will all suffer the exact same fate. But the electoral commission says otherwise will No disruptions.
Professor Kingsley Moghalu is a former presidential candidate and political economist. in The Sunday Review was told by the candidate for 2019 that he anticipated a large turnout. “except if suppressed by a security breakdown of any sort,” He spoke to The Sunday Review.
It’s more than 93 million Nigerians Voting is open to all, however there are still uncertainties about the turnout of voters on election day.
Public policy analyst Abideen Olasupo told The Sunday Review the uncertainties surrounding this year’s elections Many voters have been put off by this.
“Nigerian voters are currently the most disturbed and confused voters in the world right now because they are not sure if the election will hold; and if it will hold, they are not sure if the process will not be manipulated,” Olasupo stated.
A bid to limit vote buying has led to citizens being disrupted. making the old currency notes It is impossible to stop rogue politicians stockpiling money. There are concerns that the shortage of the new Nigerian naira notes might disrupt the elections itself.
Electoral body INEC reportedly warned Inability by banks to disburse enough new cash may make it more difficult to hire temporary staff or security guards in order to manage thousands of polling stations. elections On February 25.
Voting is as it stands. will It will not happen in There is more to it than 200 polling units All Nigeria, in You can find places like Taraba or Imo in two of the most popular areas: Nigeria’s conflict-prone states) says INEC, because of concerns over security.
Separatist gangs, marauding gunsmen and bandits terrorized areas of the country with kidnappings to pay ransom.
Elsewhere, other impediments threaten voter turnout as some Nigerians are yet to collect their permanent voter’s card (PVC) with less than a week to the poll.
Michael Famoroti is the co-founder of Stears and heads intelligence at Stears. He tells The Sunday Review critical economic and security issues. will Be top-of-mind for voters to influence their election choices.
“Nigerians fall under two buckets: One is insecurity. However, overall, the main issue that Nigerians agree needs to be dealt with is the economy,” He said that concerns range from poverty to unemployment and policies.
“The cash crunch, petrol scarcity … are issues that are likely going to be top of mind for those who make it to the polls and arguably could sway the votes,” Famoroti.
Violent protests have been sparked by fuel shortages and the scarcity of the new local currency. in Parts of Nigeria Millions of people are struggling to obtain new bank notes.
Nigerians are hopeful that the final winner in the presidential vote will run for the presidency. in finding solutions to those problems, including tackling the country’s burgeoning debt profile, oil theft, and a controversial petrol subsidy that deprives This is the country that earns major oil revenue.
Three of the three top candidates made pledges to address some of these problems. The ruling party’s Tinubu vows Create jobs and expand the economy “obliterate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and violent crime from the face of our nation.”
Alluding to a “recover Nigeria” mantra, the PDP’s Abubakar says he wants to “block government wastages” By running the first time small governmentBy removing the fuel subsidy from the country and making the government pay for it, “the hub of crude oil refining in Africa.”
The Labour Party’s Obi says his government will Be open to shifting Nigeria’s focus “from consumption to production” While also being determined “to fight and significantly reduce corruption” Create systems to decrease unemployment, insecurity and inflation
“There was a scenario where we only considered voters who had picked up their PVC … based on that scenario, the Labour Party candidate is the most likely winner,” Famoroti spoke to The Sunday Review.
“However, we then also estimated a low turnout scenario. The idea is that these are the harder than hardcore voters and those that most likely will turn up to vote on the day. Under that scenario, the APC candidate … emerges victorious,” He added.
Other poll SBM Intelligence, Lagos-based SBM Intelligence doesn’t see any frontrunner. But it does suggest that Obi or Abubakar could win enough ballots to satisfy the 25% spread. in 24 Nigeria’s 36 states required by law to win.
For the Political Africa Initiative, (POLAF), however, this forecast may be different. whose survey The polling of three million respondents revealed that the APC (38%) predicts an even race with the PDP (29%), while the APC (29%) is predicted to win.
Obi’s Labour Party is projected to occupy third place with 27% of the votes.
“This election is extremely difficult to predict,” Moghalu told The Sunday Review that he was a political economist.
“That’s because of the ‘Third Force’ Factor of Peter Obi from Labor Party, which has scupmaged the projections by the two traditional dominant parties APC/PDP.
“While many still believe one of the two will come out on top ultimately, the fact that several scientific opinion polls have put Obi in the lead means that the possibility of an upset clearly exists,” Moghalu.
Moghalu thinks Nigerians might vote along traditional and ethnic party lines as well.
“The only major factor that is an ‘issue’, and will influence many votes, is the hunger for a change in direction which millions of young and middle-aged voters have, and for that reason support Obi. Will that be enough to propel him to victory? That’s the X-factor.”