The campaign for the 2023 Presidential election will kickstart officially on Wednesday, 28th September 2022 and all the candidates will begin moving from one state to the other to convince Nigerians to back them for the country’s apex seat.
OduNews brings to you an analysis of the standing of these candidates across the 36 states. This report will aggregate live interviews from residents of the various states as well as views of political analysts and opinion leaders.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission released the names of 18 candidates jostling for the presidential position, there are four leading candidates who all fancy their chances as the number one citizen of the country come 2023.
These candidates are Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour party and Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Political Party.
With the registered voters standing at 1,932,892, Abia ranks among states with the lowest number of voters. The state has always been a stronghold of the PDP but recent dynamics ahead of the 2023 election indicate that such may not be the case next year. The state’s governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, is a staunch supporter of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Unlike many of his counterparts from the South, Ikpeazu has stood solidly behind Atiku. However, Peter Obi’s emergence on the 2023 ballot means the state would no longer be business as usual for the PDP. Factors such as religious and tribal considerations will play a great deal in next year’s presidential election in Abia state. The only leading candidate this favours is Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra state. With the infighting in the PDP and Obi’s growing reputation, Ikpeazu and the Abia PDP members will face an uphill task in securing the state for Atiku Abubakar. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Rabiu Kwankwaso however have little support from the state. While the large structure of the APC may see Tinubu get crumbs of votes, it would be difficult for Kwankwaso to pull votes from the state. In summary, Abia state is Peter Obi’s to beat.
Verdict: Peter Obi’s LP to win.
This is the home state of the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar. In 2019, Atiku won the state after securing 412,266 votes to beat President Muhammadu Buhari who garnered 377,488. The 2023 election is predicted to toe the same line. In the last election, APC won 11 local governments while Atiku’s PDP won the remaining10 LGs. The PDP has a huge following, with Governor Ahmadu Fintiri at the commanding height. This is also the state of Babachir Lawal, the arrowhead of opposition to the Muslim-Muslim ticket. APC’s bigwigs in the state are the current secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and the first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari. Adamawa’s politics has been fluid in recent years and this fluidity is at the mercy of political gladiators in the state.
Verdict: Atiku to win.
This is one of the states to watch out for as the voting population coupled with the acceptance of the bigwigs from the major political parties. The campaign will reignite the political rivalry between the outgoing governor, Udom Emmanuel and former Minister of the Niger Delta Affair, Senator Godswill Akpabio. With Emmanuel as DG, PDP presidential campaign council and Akpabio in charge of that of APC for the South, a battle royale is imminent in Akwa Ibom. Peter Obi will also bank on his growing popularity in the state to clinch votes in the state. Akpabio faces the biggest task of the three over the religious colouration the 2023 election has been given. The APC Muslim-Muslim ticket will be difficult to sell to the overwhelming Christian residents and indigenes of Akwa Ibom.
…to be continued…