The Road to 2023 2023 Election Updates

Updates on the 2023 elections, covering news on candidates, voting and other related issues.

06 July 2022
Peter Obi Declines Rabiu Kwankwaso’s Running Mate Offer

Earlier today at 9 a.m. (WAT), the Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, responded to comments made by Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) about offering Obi a ‘golden opportunity’ to be his NNPP running mate.

This follows earlier rumours about a proposed merger between both candidates that would see them run on a joint ticket—a prospect that would provide a strong union of the most prominent third-party candidates.

In his statement, Kwankwaso stated that Obi seeks to accept his offer, but ‘some people in the South-East’ will not allow such a concession to be made and that if they miss out on the opportunity he has provided, ‘it will be a disaster.’ Kwankwaso says the 2023 election provides an opportunity for the South-East to have better representation while emphasizing the major political parties in the country are lacking such representation.

Obi responded in an interview with Arise TV that Kwankwaso’s comments are ‘the reason why we have all the problems that Nigeria is insecure’ and that they influence the ‘primitive consideration of ethnicity and religion,’ that hinders better governance.

Yesterday, after Kwankwaso’s comments drew widespread criticism, Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, national chairman of the NNPP, claimed that Kwankwaso’s remarks had been taken out of context.

05 July 2022
Hadiza Balarabe Could Become the First Deputy Governor to Serve Under Two Different Governors

Yesterday, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) Kaduna State’s governorship candidate, Uba Sani, named Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate in the forthcoming 2023 general election. Balarabe is the incumbent deputy governor in Kaduna State, having won the 2019 state elections with outgoing governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

While presidents and governors can only take their oath of office twice, the constitution does not place a limit on how many times their deputies can assume office. Should the APC win, Balarabe will only be serving a second term, having replaced the late Bala Bantex as governor ahead of the 2019 elections. She will also become the first deputy governor to serve under two separate governors.

Balarabe’s nomination might also test the frail religious balance in Kaduna State. Prior to being picked in 2019, Kaduna State’s governors and their deputies had balanced the state’s religious diversity with the election of a Christian and a Muslim ticket. El-Rufai jettisoned that arrangement in 2019 when the state elected its first Muslim-Muslim ticket and has been vocal about religion not playing a role in the choice of government officials in the country.

04 July 2022
Peter Obi Asks His Supporters To Be ‘Tolerant’

Yesterday, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, sent a tweet urging his supporters to be tolerant of opposing viewpoints.

Obi made this appeal days after many of his supporters criticized the senior pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Poju Oyemade, over a tweet advising youths to avoid wasting their enthusiasm on a ‘poorly planned project’, according to TheCable. Although Oyemade’s tweet did not explicitly name a candidate, many have interpreted it as directed towards the growing youth movement in support of Obi. Much has been made of the strong support that Obi has on social media—with groups either admiring or dismissing this followership. Under the name, ‘OBI-dient’, many have mobilized volunteer groups external to his party’s campaign structure to rally more prospective voters to support his candidacy.

However, there have also been controversial instances where Obi has had to come out to temper flames fanned by his supporters. A notable example was the use of his image on a Muslim prayer mat which led to criticism about the over-exuberance of his supporters. In this case, he tweeted that ‘the inclusion of my picture on the praying mat by a support group was misguided, even with the best of intentions.’

30 June 2022
The Senate Confirms Newly Appointed Ministers

Yesterday, the Nigerian Senate screened and confirmed seven new ministers appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari last week. The new ministers will take over from former ministers such as Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and Tayo Alasoadura, who resigned to run for various elected offices.

The confirmed nominees are Henry Ikechukwu of Abia State, Umana Umana of Akwa Ibom State, Ekumankama Nkama of Ebonyi State, Goodluck Opiah of Imo State, Umar El-Yakub of Kano State, Ademola Adegoroye of Ondo State, and Odum Udi of Rivers State.

The screening process took about five hours. After being sworn in, the cabinet will likely see the biggest mid-term reshuffle in the Buhari presidency, with changes expected in ministries such as transportation, science and technology, education and Niger Delta affairs.

29 June 2022
Peter Obi Earns Workers’ Support

Yesterday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) endorsed the Labour Party’s Peter Obi for president in the 2023 election. The presidents of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, and TUC, Quadri Olaleye, stated that their unions would benefit from his leadership and his commitment to make their lives better and prioritize their concerns.

Historically, the NLC and TUC have endorsed candidates in the past, but their influence has largely been felt at the state level. Notably, former NLC president, Adams Oshiomhole, leveraged his role during the Obasanjo administration to gain national prominence before winning the Edo governorship election in 2008. The NLC and TUC previously endorsed President Buhari in 2015, ahead of his win in that year’s elections. In other countries, parties backed by labour movements have been largely competitive due to the vast membership these groups have. The workers’ endorsement comes with the encouragement of its membership of over 12 million to support the Obi campaign and could play a part in improving the chances of the party at the election. 

28 June 2022
INEC Announces Over 10 Million New Voters Registrations

On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that participation in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ahead of the 2023 election has surpassed 10 million. According to the CVR weekly update released in Abuja, 8,631,696 prospective voters have completed their registrations. The update also revealed that 3,250,449 prospective voters completed the process online, while 5,381,247 registered in person at various registration centres across the country. The CVR, which was supposed to end this week on June 30, has been extended until further notice, according to INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu. 

27 June 2022
INEC Published Details of 2023 Presidential Candidates

Last Friday, 24 June, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published the details of candidates for the 2023 general elections. INEC’s publication follows criticism from many Nigerians about some presidential candidates’ academic credentials with several claims of discrepancies and age falsification. One big topic and point of contention for many over the weekend was the ruling All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Tinubu’s place of birth (state of origin), age, and academic credentials.

According to the now published information from INEC, Tinubu’s statutory age is 70, and he was born in Lagos, Nigeria. However, Tinubu did not provide any information on his primary and secondary education, but instead, as reported, presented an affidavit that his certificates were missing. Among other presented credentials by Abubakar Atiku (75), the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, he did not provide information on his primary education. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (66) of the New Nigeria People’s Party and Peter Obi (61) of the Labour Party are reported to have provided full academic credentials.

23 June 2022
What Are Nigerians Using to Scrutinize Their Presidential Candidates?

2023 presidential candidates are facing public scrutiny over their history of corruption allegations and stance on marginalized communities. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that both Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Abubakar Atiku of the People Democratic Party are unlikely to make fighting corruption a priority campaign issue because both candidates have a history of graft allegations. The Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has had to deal with his own fair share of scrutiny, largely over the data used in making comparisons of Nigeria’s unemployment rate and, more recently, has faced criticism for a particular flawed investment decision. Obi is also being asked about his stance on the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. While this public scrutiny is taking place, particularly on social media, the presidential candidates have yet to respond as efforts to ramp up campaigning across the country are underway.

22 June 2022
APC Struggles to Stay United Ahead of 2023

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is dealing with a spate of defections in the National Legislature, ahead of the forthcoming 2023 elections. At the start of yesterday’s plenary session, Senators Francis Alimekhena (Edo North) and Babba Kaita (Katsina North) formally defected to the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP), following a similar announcement by Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) and Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) last week. Likewise, Lawal Gummau (Bauchi South) moved from APC to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). Defections ahead of elections are not surprising, as politicians seek the most viable platforms for their careers. But it is always a challenge when a ruling party, which often needs to consolidate its resources, faces defections ahead of elections. Learn more about the challenges ahead of APC’s quest to retain power here.

21 June 2022
President Buhari Appoints Seven New Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed seven new ministers following the resignation of ministers vying for elected offices as directed by the presidency and in accordance with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act. Today, the president sent a letter to the Senate requesting confirmation of the nominated ministers. The new ministers are: Henry Ikechukwu, Umana Umana, Ekuma Joseph, Goodluck Obia, Umar Yakub, Ademola Adegorioye, and Odo Udi. They are to replace some ministers who resigned, including Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Ogbonnaya Onu, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who ran in the APC presidential primary. Uche Ogar, who ran and won the fractional Abia State governorship primary, and Tayo Alasoadura, who ran but lost the APC senatorial primary.

20 June 2022
Ekiti State’s Off-Cycle Election

Biodun Oyebanji, the candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), has won the 2022 Ekiti gubernatorial election. The governor-elect polled 187,057 votes to defeat Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who received 82,111 votes, and Bisi Kolawole of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted the first elections under the recently amended Electoral Act and rolled out the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for voter accreditation and the INEC Results Viewing Platform (IrEV) where results were uploaded online. Despite reports of relatively peaceful elections, there were still reports of vote-buying and isolated incidents of violence. INEC will next organize the Osun State gubernatorial elections on 16 July, which will be the last polls conducted before the general elections in February and March of 2023.

16 June 2022
Okowa has emerged as Atiku’s running mate

Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, has chosen Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor, as his vice-presidential running mate. Okowa emerged from a shortlist rumoured to include Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State governor who finished as runner-up to Atiku at the PDP presidential nominating convention. The process also included negotiations with a 17-member committee constituted by the party to advise on the vice-presidential candidate.

Okowa was born in Ika, Delta State, in 1959. He is a medical doctor and politician whose career in politics began in 1999 when he became the commissioner for agriculture and natural resources of Delta State. Okowa served as a senator for Delta North Senatorial District in 2011. He became the governor of Delta State in 2015 and was re-elected for a second term in 2019.

As governor, Okowa has been praised for his works in infrastructural developments in Delta State. In 2021, the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers awarded Okowa as the Best Performing Governor in Infrastructure Development in Nigeria. He has also been criticized for corruption. In a 2021 report by International Centres for Investigative Reporting, Okowa was accused of privatizing Delta Line, a state-owned transport company, and selling it to the owner of God is Good Transport Development Company Limited, Chidi Ajaere, because Ajaere had supported Okowa’s 2015 gubernatorial campaign.

15 June 2022
Vice President Loading…

Yesterday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that it will announce Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 48 hours, following the stipulated deadline from INEC for all presidential candidates to pick their vice presidential candidates by 17 June. According to some party members, the vice-presidential ticket is torn between three governors—Akwa Ibom’s Udom Emmanuel, Delta’s Ifeanyi Okowa, and Rivers’s Nyesom Wike.

Also yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari also held a meeting with All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja over a running mate for the presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Tinubu, a Muslim, has tried to address concerns that his selection would result in a ‘Muslim-Muslim’ ticket by stating that he intends to pick a northern Christian as his running mate. Analysts and groups have advised candidates to choose candidates to balance religious and geographical considerations. In the same vein, the Labour Party has also disclosed that the running mate of its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, will be from the North.

14 June 2022
INEC Rejects Akpabio’s Senatorial Candidacy

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the former minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio, as the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom’s North West. Akpabio had contested in APC’s presidential primaries but stepped down for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Akpabio thereafter contested and won the APC ticket for Akwa Ibom’s northwest senatorial district but INEC has said that its officials did not monitor the primary that day and as such cannot recognize Akpabio as the senatorial candidate. INEC said instead that the primary election organized on 27 May where a former deputy inspector-general of the police, Udom Ekpoudom, won the ticket is the only primary it will recognize.

10 June 2022
Traders Prevented From Voting

There was pandemonium yesterday at Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos after traders who had closed in order to embark on a market-wide voter registration exercise were attacked.

Alaba International Market is one of the largest electronics markets in West Africa. Officials of the international market had instructed that all shops be shut down to allow their members ample time to get their PVCs at the INEC office in the Igbede area of Ojo.

INEC Sets Deadline for Presidential Aspirants to Pick Running Mates

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has directed presidential and governorship candidates of the 18 registered political parties to select running mates by Friday, 17th June.

Recall that party primaries across all political parties officially concluded on Thursday 8 June. This gives the parties a little over one week to nominate candidates for the offices of vice president and deputy governor.

09 June 2022
Primaries Final Day. Who Are the 2023 Presidential Candidates?

Today is the final deadline for all registered political parties to conduct, and resolve issues arising from, their presidential primaries. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had previously postponed the deadline following a request from several parties. Notable candidates, from parties occupying elected office or individuals widely followed on social media, include:

Kola Abiola – People’s Redemption Party

Atiku Abubakar – People’s Democratic Party

Adewole Adebayo – Social Democratic Party

Malik Ado-Ibrahim – Young Progressives Party

Dumebi Kachikwu – African Democratic Congress

Rabiu Kwankwaso – New Nigeria Peoples Party

Peter Obi – Labour Party

Omoyele Sowore – African Action Congress

Bola Tinubu – All Progressives Congress

Peter Umeadi – All Progressive Grand Alliance

INEC only recognizes 18 political parties, following the deregistration of 74 in 2020, and will be expecting candidates from these parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.

08 June 2022
Tinubu Emerges APC’s Presidential Candidate

The All Progressives Congress’ (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has emerged the winner of the APC presidential primaries held today at Eagle Square, Abuja. Tinubu won with 1,271 votes, leading the former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi (316 votes) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (235 votes). Other members of the party who participated in the presidential primaries include: Senate President Ahmad Lawan (152 votes); Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello (47 votes); Cross Rivers State Governor Ben Ayade (37 votes); Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi (38 votes); Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima (4 votes); former minister of state for education, Emeka Nwajiuba (1 vote); Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Citadel Global Community Church, former Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha, Tein Jack-Rich and Ike-Obasi Mokelu had no votes.

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Tinubu Becomes APC’s Frontrunner
The End of APC’s Presidential Primaries

In the early hours of today, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary delegate voting ended. The ‘special convention’ of the party lasted more than 24 hours and recorded the withdrawal of nine presidential aspirants, with a total of 2,260 delegate votes. Before voting began, 14 candidates stated unequivocally that they would continue in the race for the party’s flag bearer in the 2023 election. Seven of the nine withdrawn aspirants, such as Kayode Fayemi, Godswill Akpabio, and Abubakar Badaru, stepped down and pledged their support for Bola Tinubu, the party’s national leader and former governor of Lagos State. Only one candidate stepped down in favour and support of vice president Yemi Osinbajo. Former senate president Ken Nnamani withdrew before the convention, citing the party’s alleged lack of ‘sincerity on zoning arrangements and poor management of primary election activities’ as factors in his decision to withdraw from the race. According to many political observers and journalists, the primary election was poorly organized and kicked off late.

07 June 2022
Senior APC Members Recommend Five Aspirants

Yesterday, TheCable reported that Abdullahi Adamu, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, announced senate president Ahmed Lawan as a consensus candidate in the run-up to today’s presidential primary deadline. However, this was opposed by some party members. As of today, senior APC members have recommended five aspirants for its delegates’ vote, while advising previously shortlisted candidates such as Ahmed Lawan, Yahaya Bello and Ibikunle Amosun to step down. According to Premium Times, senior APC members have recommended the following candidates for the APC presidential primary: Bola Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, and David Umahi.

06 June 2022
APC Begins Presidential Primaries

Today, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, will hold presidential primaries to elect the party’s candidate for the 2023 election. A presidential screening committee selected 13 aspirants from a pool of 23 to contest in the primaries. Here are those contesting: Bola Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Ahmed Lawan, Yahaya Bello, Kayode Fayemi, Emeka Nwajiuba, Ogbonnaya Onu, Ibikunke Amosun, David Umahi, Abubakar Badaru, Godwill Akpabio, and Tein Jack-Rich.

02 June 2022
Buhari Wants to Select His Successor

Yesterday, in an open letter, the National vice chairman (North West) of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Salihu Lukman, cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against selecting APC’s presidential candidate in the 2023 election. On Tuesday, President Buhari expressed his desire to select his successor and asked the party’s state governors to support his forthcoming choice during a meeting in Abuja. Political observers and some APC politicians have also expressed concern at the idea of reaching a consensus within the party instead of allowing the delegates attending the party’s national convention to elect its presidential nominee.

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The Dilemma of a Ruling Party
28 May 2022
Atiku Abubakar Wins PDP’s Presidential Primaries

Today, former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, was announced the winner of the PDP presidential primary election. Atiku won 371 PDP delegate votes, ahead of governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, who had 237 and former senate president, Bukola Saraki, with 70 votes. In his 2023 presidential manifesto, ‘My Covenant with Nigerians’ which he published on 25 May, Abubakar criticized the incumbent All Progressives Congress. ‘It has become fashionable for the APC-led government to blame the opposition and external factors for Nigeria’s economic woes. The evidence, however, is overwhelming that the country’s under-performance is largely attributable to leadership failures in the management of the state.’

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Atiku’s Early Victory
26 May 2022
Peter Obi Resigns from PDP

Yesterday, Peter Obi, one of the top contenders for the PDP presidential ticket, resigned his membership and withdrew from PDP’s presidential primaries. In a signed letter he posted on social media, Obi, a former Anambra State governor and the party’s 2019 vice-presidential nominee, cited ‘recent developments’ within the party’s structure that made his ‘constructive contributions’ difficult. While Obi has withdrawn from this weekend’s PDP primaries, his inclusion of the phrase ‘My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs’ in his statement has led analysts to believe he will find another platform to pursue his presidential ambition.

25 May 2022
Rochas Okorocha Has Been Arrested

Yesterday in Abuja, APC presidential aspirant Rochas Okorocha was arrested at his home by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for breaching administrative bail and evading his corruption trial. Okorocha, who is a sitting senator and former governor of Imo State, claims that the arrest was intended to prevent him from participating in the APC’s presidential screening process. Analysts are divided on if the activity of the commission was heavy-handed and has legal backing.

24 May 2022
Banky W’s Road to the Senate

Yesterday, Nigerian actor, artist, and politician, Bankole Wellington, popularly called ‘Banky W’, was reported to have won the PDP ticket to represent the party as its House of Representatives candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections. Banky W is contesting for the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat and is said to have won by 28 votes to beat his closest opponent who scored three votes.

23 May 2022
APC Has Postponed Its Presidential Screening

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed the screening of its 2023 presidential aspirants earlier scheduled for Monday, May 23. The party’s national publicity secretary, Felix Morka, announced that a new date will be communicated soon.

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APC Will Charge Presidential Candidates 100 Million To Run for Office
19 May 2022
A New Political Force?

Yesterday, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, a founding member of the All Progressives Congress, left the party to join forces with the New Nigeria People Party, led by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the party’s presidential aspirant. They’ve both served as governors, senators, and ministers from Kano State. Shekarau and Kwankwaso are state political giants who were once adversaries.

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Who’s Running for Nigeria’s Presidency in 2023?
18 May 2022
INEC Rejects the Extension of the Primaries

On May 10, the Inter-Party Advisory Council requested an extension of the deadline for primary elections by 37 days. On May 16, The Cable reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission has rejected the request.

06 May 2022
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele Joins the Presidential Race

Today, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria announced his intention to contest in the upcoming 2023 presidential election under the APC party. Emefiele had filed a lawsuit on 05 May, to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the attorney general of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami, from pressuring him to resign from his position in order to pursue his presidential ambitions⎈

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Emefiele the Politician?

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