The Road to 2023 2023 Election Updates

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

17 August 2022
Ibrahim Shekarau Wooed by Other Parties

Today, in Abuja, former Kano State governor, and incumbent Senator, Ibrahim Shekarau is expected to meet with Bola Tinubu, the presidential nominee of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Kano Central Senator was a member of APC before he defected to the New Nigerian Political Party (NNPP) in May 2022.

Shekarau remains an influential figure in Kano State and his decision to join forces with his former rival, Rabiu Kwankwaso, was expected to provide a strong ‘third force’ in the state’s politics. His political career has seen him been a member of both the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 2014–2018 and then APC from 2018 till his defection earlier this year.

One of the reasons Shekarau and his associates claim they want to join forces with another party is the uneven distribution of senatorial tickets between Kwankwaso’s associates and them. They claim that agreements made before they joined the party had not been ignored—they cite the fact that Shekarau is the only one among his associates who received the party’s senatorial ticket.

Yau Sule, spokesperson for Shekarau, has stated that a clear decision will be made in the coming weeks. Kano is the most populous state in Nigeria, according to official records, and has been a reliable source of votes for APC. Should Shekarau defect, it will pose a big issue for NNPP and might change ongoing permutations for control of the centre of commerce.

16 August 2022
NNPP removes chairperson in Osun State

Yesterday, members of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Osun, unanimously removed the chairperson of the state chapter, Tosin Odeyemi, amid allegations of financial misappropriation. Odeyemi was removed after an unopposed vote during a meeting at the party’s secretariat in Osogbo.

The party’s state secretary, Adekunle Abolade, claimed that poor financial management and the chairman’s autocratic leadership were to blame for the party not being able to win the state governorship election on July 16. According to Abolade, the party’s Board of Trustees chairperson, Boniface Aniebonam, and other national executives as well, support Odeyemi’s removal.

Prominent members of the party, especially its presidential nominee, Rabiu Kwankwaso, are yet to make any statement concerning the removal. However, Odeyemi’s departure from his post will no doubt be related to efforts to ensure a stronger showing by the party’s candidates in the 2023 general elections.

15 August 2022
The Atiku-Wike Reconciliation Panel Starts Today

Today, in Abuja, a 14-member committee will begin to reconcile different factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The members were nominated by former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, to address disagreements following the formal confirmation of the party’s presidential ticket.

The main opposition party has endured mixed fortunes recently. It lost the Ekiti governorship elections but regained control of the Osun State House for the first time since 2010. The PDP has also been drawn into in-fighting between supporters of Atiku and a group of prominent governors who appear to back their Rivers State counterpart in demanding concessions in exchange for their support.

Previous reconciliation efforts have resulted in different outcomes. One key demand appears to be the resignation of the party chair, Iyorchia Ayu, to reflect the current regional imbalance in terms of the party’s top positions. The party candidate, chair and board of trustees’ chair are all northerners, and many southern politicians have kicked against this. However, Atiku has maintained his support for Ayu and insisted that the chair will be replaced if he is elected president.

The panel includes several former prominent governors and senators. Members of the PDP will hope that the party is able to reconcile its members and ensure a united front ahead of the 2023 elections. 

11 August 2022
Peter Obi: ‘Nigeria Must Stop Borrowing for Consumption’

Yesterday, the Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, warned that Nigeria must limit borrowing for consumption from other countries and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to the former governor of Anambra State, the federal government should limit borrowings to five per cent of the previous year’s revenue.

Obi also stated on his social media page that states that received fiscal bailouts did not invest them properly, did not repay the loans, and are still borrowing more than their revenue earnings.

Last year, Obi advised the federal government to invest the borrowed funds in profitable ventures to improve the nation’s socioeconomic development. According to him at the time, debt is not bad when used efficiently and invested appropriately to boost the economy.

Many political analysts believe that during Obi’s presidential campaign, rescuing Nigeria from its debt situation will be prioritized. And while economists debate the sustainability of Nigeria’s debt, policymakers in Nigeria have defended their borrowing practices. Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s finance minister, for example, has previously publicly stated that these borrowings were critical to the country’s exit from recession.

10 August 2022
INEC Denies Reversing Its Decision on Akpabio and Lawan’s Senatorial Bids

Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) denied altering electoral documents in order to accept the nominations of Senate President Ahmad Lawan, and Godswill Akpabio, the former minister of Niger Delta affairs, to contest senate seats in the 2023 elections.

Both politicians had declared their candidacies, and bought registration forms for the presidential nomination of the All Progressive’s Congress. Lawan finished fourth at the APC convention, despite having been announced as the consensus candidate by party chair, Abdullahi Adamu. Akpabio, who resigned from his ministerial post to seek the presidency (in line with the new Electoral Act) withdrew in favour of eventual winner, Bola Tinubu.

Despite not participating in their respective senatorial primaries, both candidates had been nominated by APC in acknowledgment of their seniority and political standing. The actual winners of the APC senatorial primaries were Bashir Machina (Yobe North) and Udom Ekpoudom (Akwa Ibom North West), who have refused to step down for Lawan and Akpabio (INEC can only authorize a replacement if the primary winners agree to step down).

INEC’s recent successes in conducting recent governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti have inspired confidence in the commission’s ability to deliver credible elections in 2023. However, many watch to see if INEC will reverse its position on Akpabio and Lawan. Such a move could be seen as yielding to pressure from the ruling party, and could fuel scrutiny towards INEC ahead of 2023.

09 August 2022
Former CBN Governor Adebayo Adelabu Gains New Support in Oyo

Yesterday, Adegboyega Adegoke, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, and Fatai Adesina of the Peoples Democratic Party joined the Accord Party to support the governorship ambitions of Adebayo Adelabu.

Adelabu, popularly called Penkelemesi, is a former deputy governor (2014–2018) of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The media aide of Adelabu, Femi Awogboro, said in a statement in Ibadan that the two politicians decided to join the Accord Party to actualize Adelabu’s governorship ambition.

Awogboro describes the Accord as a ‘credible alternative party to move the state forward from 2023’ and that it is a ‘homecoming’ for both Adegoke and Adesina.

Ahead of 2023, political experts forecast parties other than the two major opposition parties to gain more prominence and could potentially win some elections.

08 August 2022
Northern Christians Have Urged Simon Lalong to Not Support Tinubu’s Presidential Candidacy

Yesterday, religious group, Concerned Christians in Northern Nigeria, urged Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, to reject his nomination as director-general of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, which was established ahead of the nationwide rally for the 2023 general elections.

The group of Christians in the North, led by Michael Atululwu, at a press briefing in Kaduna, likened Lalong’s acceptance of the position to planning to dine with the devil. In addition, the Northern Christian Revivalist Movement has threatened to invoke God’s wrath on Lalong and other Christians who support APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu for failing to properly represent their faith and betraying them.

This latest condemnation follows criticism of Tinubu, a Muslim’s choice of Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State and another Muslim, as his running mate.

04 August 2022
Controversy Trails Nigeria’s Donation of Vehicles to Niger Republic

Yesterday, the Nigerian government confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the purchase and donation of vehicles worth N1.4 billion to Niger Republic. The report trended on social media before it was confirmed during a press conference following this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting.

Nigeria’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, justified the decision as assistance to a neighbouring country experiencing similar security issues. Supporters of the government also cited donations by former administrations to African states as precedence for such a gesture.

Outcry following the news has generally focused on the current state of Nigeria’s economy and Nigeria’s ongoing insecurity challenges. The declining economy and rising insecurity are expected to dominate campaigns during the forthcoming elections. Both issues are also at the heart of recent efforts to impeach the president.

03 August 2022
Simon Lalong is expected to head APC’s Presidential Campaign

Rumours have emerged today that Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, has been recommended to be Director-General (DG) of Tinubu’s presidential campaign team for the 2023 elections. Reports also suggest that Adams Oshiomhole, former Edo State Governor and party chair, has been selected as his deputy.

On Monday, state governors belonging to the APC held a meeting with Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees. After the meeting, Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, announced that APC had decided on who to recommend to Tinubu as DG. El-Rufai also explained that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, would be briefed before an official announcement was made to the general public.

Lalong, a Northern Christian, was reportedly chosen to pacify party members who were displeased by Tinubu’s decision to pick Shettima as his running mate on a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Former house speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and former secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir Lawal, have been at the forefront of agitations for religious equity following Shettima’s selection.

02 August 2022
Nigeria Adds Over 12 million New Voters ahead of 2023 Elections

On Monday, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the year-long continuous voter registration that ended on 31 July had led to the addition of 12.29 million voters. According to INEC, 84 per cent of the new voters were young people, aged between 18 and 34 years old.

During the last election in 2019, INEC figures showed that Nigeria had 84 million registered voters—less than half of the country’s projected population of 200 million people. A breakdown of registration data by states showed that Lagos had the highest number of registrations, closely followed by Kano—with 585,620 and 569,103 new voters respectively. However, Yobe and Ekiti had the lowest numbers with only 152,414 and 124,844 new voters respectively.

The registration of new voters is now suspended, and won’t resume until after the 2023 general elections.

01 August 2022
APC wins Ebonyi Local Government Elections

On Sunday, the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) declared results that returned candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winners of all 13 chairmanship and 171 councillorship seats in Saturday’s local government elections.

Chika Nwoba, the state publicity secretary of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), described the elections as a ‘one-man show,’ and other political parties were reported to have boycotted the elections to protest the electoral body’s refusal to reduce the N1 million and N200,000 nomination fees imposed for chairmanship and councillorship.

APC has seen its fortunes increase in Ebonyi since the defection of Governor Dave Umahi, from PDP, in November 2020. Umahi, who is term-limited, also won a re-run election to stand as the party’s nominee for Senate in the coming elections.

28 July 2022
Lawmakers threaten to impeach President Buhari

Yesterday, members of both chambers of the National Assembly, and across the party divide, issued a six-week ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari, to address the country’s insecurity situation or risk impeachment.

The decision was made following their respective closed-sessions before the start of plenary. While different accounts have emerged concerning these meetings, members from both the ruling and opposition parties have confirmed a consensus to proceed with impeachment if the situation persists.

Government officials have approached the situation differently. While the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, dismissed the motion by calling it ‘ridiculous’, the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, sought the understanding of the legislators over the government’s urgent approach to the matter. The president convened a meeting of the national security council earlier today.

No Nigerian president has ever been impeached, although Presidents Buhari and Obasanjo have seen ultimately futile motions raised. With less than a year to the end of the president’s term in office, it remains unlikely that this motion will persist without causing disruption to the already flagging efforts of security officials.

27 July 2022
Idahosa is Bringing ‘Church Politicking’ to the Presidential Race

Yesterday, Bishop Isaac Idahosa, stated that his 33 years of experience in ‘church politicking’ will prove invaluable as Rabiu Kwankwaso’s running mate on the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the upcoming 2023 elections. Idahosa stated this on Politics Today, a primetime programme on Channels TV.

On July 14, Kwankwaso announced Idahosa as his running mate, following the failure of ‘third force’ talks with Peter Obi and the Labour Party. Idahosa, a native of Edo State, is the presiding bishop and senior pastor of God First Ministries Inc. He is believed to have been chosen to provide a regional and religious balance to the NNPP ticket.

Some analysts have cited the cleric’s lack of political experience as a drawback to the ticket. However, when addressing these concerns, Idahosa stated that managing a church required more than spiritual power. He referred to the different tribes and backgrounds usually representative in a large church to support his efforts in working with different groups. Idahosa is not the first cleric to join a presidential ticket, with incumbent Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Tunde Bakare and Chris Okotie among others to have sought elected office while serving as pastors.

26 July 2022
PDP Warns Dotun Babayemi to Stop Legal Action Against Ademola Adeleke.

On Sunday, in a statement signed by Akindele Adekunle, caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, the party warned Dotun Babayemi to stop further legal action against the Governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, in the overall interest of the party.

Babayemi had petitioned the Federal High Court in Osogbo, challenging the PDP’s nomination and submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC, as well as the validity of the governorship primary that made him the party’s candidate. Both Babayemi and Adeleke emerged at different primaries conducted by factions within the state’s PDP, however, Adeleke was recognized as the PDP candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the state governorship election, which he subsequently won. The statement specifically condemned the ‘apparent attempt by the former aspirant to become a tool of the APC to truncate the overwhelming victory of the PDP at the governorship poll.’

The case, however, was dismissed by the Federal High Court in Osogbo and the Appeal Court in Akure. Following the party’s victory in the Osun election, the PDP is trying to manage the current divisions within the party ahead of forming the next state government.

25 July 2022
Atiku Abubakar’s First Interview as the PDP Flagbearer

On Friday, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential nominee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), granted an exclusive interview to ARISE TV. The sit-down covered a range of topics including Atiku’s plans for the country, his choice of a running mate and his take on the chances of his fellow nominees.

Some of the claims Atiku made during the interview include that he had turned down Tinubu’s request to be his running mate during Atiku’s 2007 bid for president, over his aversion to a single faith (Muslim-Muslim) ticket. Atiku also claimed that the Labour Party’s lack of structure and representation means it would ‘take a miracle’ for the party to win the elections.

Naturally, both the All Progressives Congress and the Labour Party have issued strong rebuttals to Atiku’s claims. Through his spokesperson, Bola Tinubu, APC’s presidential nominee, responded to Atiku and brought up Atiku’s attempt to join the 1993 Social Democratic Party ticket alongside late M.K.O Abiola. Similarly, the Labour Party referred to Atiku’s perennial candidacy as proof that he might be unelectable.

Atiku’s interview marks the first media engagement that the PDP presidential nominee has granted since he received the PDP ticket over a month ago.

21 July 2022
Abike Dabiri-Erewa continues to advocate for diaspora voting

Yesterday, in a press briefing, the chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that NiDCOM would continue to advocate for the passing of the diaspora voting bill, despite its refusal by the Nigerian parliament in March 2022 ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had said it was ready for a diasporic form of voting, especially since electronic transmission of results is now possible. In 2009, a similar bill was refused by the House of Representatives because it contravened the terms of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, which explicitly limits the right to vote to Nigerian citizens physically present in the country at the time of registration and elections.

Progress towards diaspora voting in Nigeria has been slow because of the lack of political will from Nigerian lawmakers and politicians. Parties are unable to measure the extent of their support in other countries and are more likely to avert the risk of losing votes. Similarly, ethno-religious sentiments continue to play a role in making this difficult to gauge.

While Dabiri-Erewa, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, has urged Nigerians to keep advocating for and lobbying Nigerian legislators until diaspora voting is achieved, her position does not appear to be shared by her party, which controls the executive and legislature.

READ
Too Foreign to Vote
20 July 2022
INEC declares that the 2023 Elections Will Be Nigeria’s ‘Best Election Ever’

On 20 July, at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja, INEC’s chair, Mahmood Yakubu, said that the forthcoming 2023 general elections will be the best Nigeria has ever had. During a press conference, the chair cited recent performances in the Ekiti (18 June) and Osun State (16 July) governorship elections as reasons for the commission’s optimism of delivering on this promise.

INEC’s announcement that it improved elections in both states comes with mixed feelings. For one, it has been reported that alleged vote-buying took place during the elections. However, INEC has been commended for deploying appropriate materials and personnel, commencing the election polls early, and quickly uploading the election results on the INEC portal. In Osun State for example, the electoral body stationed security and anti-corruption personnel at election wards for security.

The electoral management body also recently extended continuous voter registration to 31st July, from an initial deadline of 30 June. This was largely in response to a court judgment that followed a lawsuit filed by civil society organization, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and 185 other Nigerians.

19 July 2022
Rabiu Kwankwaso Has announced Isaac Idahosa as his running mate

On 18 July, at a ceremony in Abuja, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and former governor of Kano State, presented Bishop Isaac Idahosa as his running mate for the 2023 elections. Kwankwaso explained that the choice of Idahosa as his running mate was made after careful consideration and involved the screening of more than 20 candidates.

Idahosa is the presiding bishop and the senior pastor of God First Ministry, popularly known as Illumination Assembly, Lekki Light Centre in Lagos. Earlier this month, it was reported that Kwankwaso had asked Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, to become his running mate. However, Peter Obi denied his proposal.

READ
In the Mould of Aminu Kano
18 July 2022
Ademola Adeleke wins Osun State Governorship Election

On Sunday, 17 July, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the Osun State governorship election. Adeleke won with 403,371 votes, beating incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who received 375,027 votes.

Adeleke won 17 of the state’s 30 local government areas, while the APC won 13 of them. None of the other 14 candidates registered in the election won a local government. The election had been billed as a rematch of the 2018 contest, with both APC and PDP candidates retaining their party’s nomination to seek the governorship. That election was keenly contested, with Oyetola only winning after a rerun was conducted in several polling units and only then with 482 votes.

The results have been largely interpreted with a view of the 2023 general elections. Analysts have underscored the upset recorded in Osun as a blow to the APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, whose influence in the South-West has been well documented. Likewise, it provides much needed momentum to the PDP which has been affected by in-fighting and issues following the selection of its vice-presidential nominee.

13 July 2022
Bola Tinubu Taps Kashim Shettima as Running-Mate

Last Sunday, Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) presidential candidate, announced Kashim Shettima, current senator and former governor of Borno State, as his running mate in the 2023 general election.

Shettima’s selection puts an end to speculation over Tinubu’s choice, which had earlier led to the party naming Ibrahim Masari as a placeholder nominee. Masari formally withdrew his nomination before Tinubu’s announcement on Sunday. The ambitions of several serving governors to get selected had prolonged the process, which has concluded days before the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the replacement of candidates for the elections.

Tinubu’s selection has also confirmed previously voiced concerns about a likely Muslim-Muslim ticket. The ticket also departs from convention where prominent parties have fielded ‘balanced’ tickets, with a Christian and Muslim on the ticket to reflect Nigeria’s religious ‘diversity’. Other major candidates, such as the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party’s Peter Obi and New Nigerian People’s Party Rabiu Kwankwaso named running mates practising religions other than theirs.

Amidst these concerns, the Tinubu campaign organization issued a statement enjoining Nigerians to select competence over religious fears. Notably, the campaign invoked the 1993 Social Democratic Party ticket which is believed to have won the election. That ticket included two Muslims—M.K.O. Abiola, from the south, and Babagana Kingibe, a northerner. It is expected that APC will devote more resources during the campaign to dispel fears about electing its candidates in the 2023 elections.

07 July 2022
What The Kuje Prison Jail Break May Mean For 2023

Yesterday, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre. According to prison officials, one security guard was killed and three others were injured. The Kuje prison is regarded as one of the most secure in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) reported that 879 inmates escaped the facility during the attack on Tuesday. Out of this total, 443 are said to be on the run, with over 300 apprehended following a manhunt. The NCS state that the prison currently houses 551 inmates.

President Muhammadu Buhari visited the prison before leaving the country on a state trip to Dakar, Senegal. His initial comment, included in a tweet that expressed shock about the development, was widely ridiculed, as was the subsequent justification of the presidency concerning his insistence to still depart the country following the attack.

The prison attacks are the latest in a series of security challenges that have plagued the capital in recent months, which include the Abuja-Kaduna train attack and the recent attack on the president’s convoy in Daura.

During the 2015 elections, Buhari campaigned on a platform to address this citing his military background, but recent incidents highlight the growing insecurity that the country continues to deal with. With the nationwide campaign for the 2023 election underway, political analysts believe presidential candidates will be heavily scrutinized by citizens, especially on their plans to end insecurity and curb terrorist attacks.

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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