Updates on the 2023 elections, covering news on candidates, voting and other related issues.
05 December 2022
Two INEC Offices in Imo State Have Been Attacked
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Sunday, the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, making it the seventh attack on the Commission’s offices recorded in the last four months.
INEC’s chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed the attack.
‘The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo State, Professor Sylvia Uchenna Agu, has reported that our office in Oru West Local Government Area was attacked at about 4:00 am today, Sunday 4th December 2022,’ Okoye wrote. ‘The attack affected the Conference Room where office furniture and fittings were destroyed.’
Okoye raised concerns about the attacks on the electoral body’s facilities across the country as it prepares to conduct the 2023 general elections in 81 days.
The latest attack comes three days after another INEC office was attacked in Orlu Local Government Area in the same state.
The INEC Has Set Nationwide Voters Cards Collection from 12 December
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Friday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced 12 December 2022 to 22 January 2023 as dates for the nationwide collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed the dates in a statement.
‘The Commission has fixed Monday 12 December 2022 to Sunday 22 January 2023 as the dates for the collection of PVCs in all the 774 local government offices of the commission throughout the Federation,’ Okoye said. ‘The Commission also resolved to devolve PVC collection to the 8,809 Registration Areas/Wards from Friday 6th to Sunday 15th January 2023.’
Okoye said that Nigerians unable to collect their PVCs at the Commission’s local government offices may do so at their registration areas/electoral wards, adding that after 15 January 2023, the exercise will revert to the local government offices until 22 January 2023.
01 December 2022
NSA Boss Condemns Violence Towards Opposition Parties by State Governors
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
Earlier today, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno warned governors against using thugs to prevent opposition parties from mounting campaign materials in their states ahead of the 2023 elections.
Speaking at a ministerial briefing at the state house, Abuja, Monguno’s comments trailed reports of state governors enforcing policies that prohibit the display of campaign materials by opposition parties in their states.
‘If you cannot restrain your thugs, the government will do that for you. And you will be called on the carpet, and you will answer questions. We have a lot of politicians, and I’m not being specific about any politician or party. This virus has to be contained,’ Monguno said. ‘I have given a clear warning that any politician who engages in any unpalatable activity—the use of thugs, and I know we have a lot of political thugs, straining at the leash, foaming at the mouth, desperate to bite and taste blood—we’re going to apply everything within the powers of the government.’
Monguno said president Muhammadu Buhari had given clear directives that the 2023 polls be free, fair and credible, adding that he further warned that there would be no hiding place for the perpetrators when the law enforcement agencies take steps.
Last month, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, said that about 52 cases of political violence had been recorded across 22 states since the campaigns for the 2023 elections began.
30 November 2022
2023 Polls: The UN Is Concerned About Nigeria’s Low Female Participation
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Tuesday, the United Nations raised concerns over the low female participation in politics in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 polls.
Speaking at a ‘He for She’ meeting in Abuja, the UN Women representative to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, Beatrice Eyong–through programme specialist Desmond Osalobo–ranked Nigeria low on women’s political participation.
‘Nigeria is one of the lowest countries as far as representation on the parliament is concerned. Nigeria is just 4.1 per cent in the parliament as we speak to the national parliament, while in other countries like Rwanda, it is 67 per cent, Senegal is about 57 per cent,’ Eyong said. ‘These are all countries with a very high level representation of women in parliament, but for Nigeria, it is something that is very unacceptable.’
The UN representative named the patriarchy as the main reason for low female inclusion and participation in the country, as culture, societal norms, and religion have enabled men to dominate in society.
INEC’s acting director of gender and inclusivity, Dorathy Bello, urged political parties to ensure they follow the rules in their constitutions.
29 November 2022
Nigeria’s Police Has Started Rolling Out Arms Ahead of the 2023 Polls
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Tuesday, The Nigerian Police Force disclosed that its Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had ordered weapons and protective equipment to be delivered to police officers across the country.
In a statement by Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the arms delivery will be to fortify all the Independent National Electoral Commission’s facilities and ensure the safety and security of INEC personnel and materials before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
According to the statement, the police chief:
‘has ordered a fresh distribution of gadgets, anti-riot gears, and personal protective equipment for police officers across the federation in preparation for the 2023 general election security management duty. The items include non-lethal weapons such as electro-shocks, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, riot guns etc., for crowd control and to minimise casualty risk in eventual confrontations with subversive elements.’
The police chief also directed Commissioners of Police to engage stakeholders in evolving strategies to reduce threats at next year’s elections. Political violence, intolerance and misinformation were listed as potential threats to the country.
28 November 2022
Another INEC Office Has Gone up in Flames
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Sunday, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Izzi local government area, Ebonyi state, was set ablaze. The electoral body says ballot boxes, voting cubicles and generators have all been destroyed in the attack.
Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, said in a statement that the culprits were unidentified persons.
‘Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs),’ Mr Okoye said.
This is the third attack on an INEC office this month. On November 10, the electoral body saw twin attacks on its offices in Ogun and Osun state; over 65,000 uncollected PVCs were destroyed in the fire.
24 November 2022
The United Kingdom is Watching Nigeria ‘Closely’
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Wednesday, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said the United Kingdom would be watching Nigeria’s 2023 general elections closely.
Ms Laing met with the Peoples Democratic Party, noting the election’s importance to Africa and the global community.
‘This election is very important to Africa and the rest of the world, so the spotlight will be on Nigeria and the UK will be watching closely,’ she said. ‘We engage in so many ways, we have spoken with INEC, civil societies. We don’t support any political party, it is for the people of Nigeria to decide who will lead them at the federal level and state levels.’
She added that the UK would monitor electoral violence at the polls, either in person or via social media, and consider issuing visa bans as sanctions.
This warning comes with 92 days to elections and days after the United States threatened similar travel restrictions on election riggers.
23 November 2022
No-Show: PDP’s Atiku and Okowa Absent at Presidential Town Hall Meeting
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Tuesday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, pulled out of a town hall meeting organized for presidential hopefuls ahead of the 2023 polls.
The PDP’s absence was announced by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
‘Due to unavoidable conflicts, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party, will not be participating in The Candidates Presidential Town Hall Series,’ NTA said in a tweet.
The town hall series called ‘The Candidates,’ is organized by Daria Media in partnership with News Central, and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), among others.
This is the second town hall where former vice president Atiku Abubakar is notably absent. On 06 November 2022, Mr Abubakar was represented by Mr Okowa at the Presidential Town Hall Series – a programme organized by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with ARISE Television.
Mr Okowa had explained that Mr Abubakar was unable to attend the event as he was outside the country at the time.
Benue State Wants Its Two Million Internally Displaced People to Vote
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Tuesday, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make adequate provisions for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state ahead of the 2023 polls.
Represented by Professor Magdalene Dura, his special adviser on Millenium Development Goals, Mr Ortom said the electoral body should create polling units at IDPs’ camps and also engage the camp’s members as ad-hoc staff during elections.
‘There is (a) lack of equity and justice in Nigeria. INEC needs to have comprehensive data on the IDPs so that they can create polling units for IDPs.’ Mr Ortom said at a roundtable discussion, in Abuja.
He maintained that creating polling units in the camps would ensure credibility of the elections at such centres and give the IDPs a sense of belonging.
In April 2022, the State Emergency Management Agency disclosed that there were 27 IDP camps in the Benue, housing to close to two million IDPs.
22 November 2022
Federal High Court Refuses to Order INEC to Resume Voter Registration
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
Earlier today, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court refused to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume its continuous voter registration (CVR) until 90 days before the 2023 general elections.
The plaintiffs, Anajat Salmat and three others, sued INEC as the sole defendant in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1343/2022 and argued that the electoral body could not stop the CVR exercise contrary to the stipulated provisions of the constitution.
In a judgement on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo urged the electoral body to ensure that eligible Nigerians are not deprived of the opportunity to have the voter’s card for the upcoming polls.
Justice Ekwo said he could not make such an order with the 2023 general election ‘just a few days’ away.
‘This court is unable to grant relief number 3 of the plaintiffs because going by the date of this judgement, from the date of this judgement, the defendant will have just a few days away from 90 days before the general elections of 25th February, 2023 and 11th March, 2023,’ Justice Ekwo said.
It is now 94 days to the 2023 general elections.
Justice Ekwo held that it was the constitutional responsibility of the electoral body to ensure adequate provisions were made for the exercise.
The electoral body suspended the voter registration exercise on 01 August 2022, explaining that extending registrations would interfere with its preparation for the elections.
Editor’s Note: This story, sourced from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was updated with a corrected version from the news agency. The court did not order INEC to continue voter registration until 90 days to the 2023 election as earlier reported.
20 November 2022
No Underage Voting at 2023 Polls, INEC Assures Nigerians
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
On Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) assured Nigerians that those under the legal voting age would not be allowed to participate in the polls.
The Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Victor Aluko, said the electoral body would organize the voters’ register ahead of the polls to ensure no underage voting.
‘I assure you that the register will be cleaned up completely and no underage voter will vote in 2023. After we finish with the claims and objections on Friday, we will be taking in again for further claims based on the complaints of the people,’ Mr Aluko said.
Mr Aluko’s comments come after the electoral body had made the register of voters public on its website, and Nigerians flagged instances of underage voters and double registration on social media.
Last week, INEC’s spokesperson Festus Okoye urged Nigerians to identify underaged or deceased persons on the preliminary register of voters. Mr Okoye said the Commission could not claim that the records were free of ‘errors or challenges’.
18 November 2022
INEC to Print 187 Million Ballot Papers for the 2023 Elections
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
Earlier today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that it will print 187 million ballot papers ahead of the polls in 2023.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said 93.5 million ballot papers would be used at the presidential elections, and the remaining 93.5 million ballot papers would be for run-off elections where there is no clear winner at the polls.
Punch reported that Mr Okoye made his comments at a Roundtable with Bureau Chiefs/Editors in Abuja.
It is now less than 100 days until the 2023 presidential and national assembly elections, slated to hold on 25 February 2023. On Wednesday, the electoral body called for calm, asking political parties and their candidates to carry out their campaign activities peacefully.
US Threatens Visa Ban on Election Riggers
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
The United States of America has threatened to issue sanctions, including visa bans, on individuals looking to interfere with the democratic process or instigate violence at the 2023 general elections.
Rolf Olson, Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Nigeria, spoke at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association Annual Seminar on ‘Promoting Electoral Integrity in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges’ in Abuja on Thursday.
‘Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be found ineligible for visas to the United States. We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process, and remain fully willing to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections,’ He said.
Mr Olson added that the US supports the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and electronic transmission of results for the poll.
In 2019, the US slammed visa restrictions on unnamed individuals for acts of violence, intimidation, and corruption during the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo elections.
16 November 2022
100 Days to the 2023 Elections, INEC Calls for Calm
By Hillary Essien, Senior Associate Editor
Earlier today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asked that political parties and their candidates carry out their campaign activities peacefully.
The electoral body’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, released a statement titled ‘100 Days To The 2023 General Election’ on Wednesday, urging all Nigerians to work together towards having successful elections.
‘It is exactly 100 days today before polling units open at 8:30 am on February 25 for national elections (presidential and federal parliamentary) and two weeks later on March 11 for state elections (governorship and state parliamentary),’ Mr Yakubu said.
The electoral body reiterated its commitment to providing Nigerians with free, fair, credible and verifiable elections supported by its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), introduced in 2021 to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters—via fingerprints—to vote at a polling unit.
Citizens have been urged to participate in all electoral activities, such as the ongoing display of the Register of Voters for claims and objections and the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
29 September 2022
Tinubu Skips Peace Pact Signing
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Today, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was absent at the signing of the peace pact, organized by the National Peace Committee.
Tinubu, who is reportedly in the United Kingdom, enjoying a vacation, was expected to be back in Nigeria by 28 September 2022 for the official start of the 2023 national campaigns. Due to his absence, Tinubu was represented by Kashim Shettima, his APC running mate.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, has said that the idea of signing the peace pact ahead of the 2023 presidential election signifies that the country is at war, claiming that the peace accord is an indication that ‘elections are a war in this country.’
If Sowere’s claim is to be believed, the Nigerians who claim Tinubu’s catchphrase — ‘Èmi ló kàn’— bodes ill for the nation, may grow increasingly suspicious now that Tinubu has elected not to attend today’s peace pact signing.
28 September 2022
2023 National Campaigns Have Officially Begun
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Today, presidential and national legislature campaigns have officially commenced, according to the scheduled timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
18 presidential candidates will vie for the mandate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who will leave office on 29 May, 2023. Presidential and national assembly elections will be held on 25 February 2023. Election campaigns for governorship and state assembly will start on 12 October, ahead of elections on 11 March 2023.
While candidates have been making media rounds and managing party issues, the formal commencement of campaigns means that political rallies, campaign jingles and public advertisements promoting their candidacies will be undertaken. The elections will be guided by the Electoral Act 2022, which provides a more robust legal framework for polls, and has been the main driver behind INEC’s guarantees of transparent voting, collation and announcement of results.
In-fighting has reportedly caused the ruling All Progressive Congress to delay its campaign kick-off. Other frontrunners, such as the People Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar have bought front page adverts in national newspapers, while Labour Party’s Peter Obi attended a rally in Plateau State today.
20 September 2022
INEC Staff Receive UNDP Training Ahead of 2023 General Elections
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
On Monday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a workshop on ‘Review of indicators and capacity building on Election Monitoring and Support Center (EMSC) Report Validation’ in Kano. There, spokesperson of UNDP and Chief Technical Adviser for Election, Deryck Fritz, said that democratic elections can contribute significantly to the advancement of Nigeria’s development aspirations.
According to Fritz, democratic elections can only contribute to Nigeria’s development if they ‘are organised in such a manner that the voters believe that their votes will matter.’ UNDP’s support ahead of the 2023 general elections reflect the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 on ‘peace, justice and strong institutions.’
He also stated that outcomes of well organized elections will be viewed by the public as legitimate, thereby increasing public trust in governance. To this end, Fritz guaranteed that the EMSC will support INEC in promoting consistency and responsiveness. According to Fritz this will build the confidence of key political actors in the orchestration of the 2023 general elections.
The significance of the UNDP‘s guarantee cannot be understated, especially in light of INEC’s recent delisting of over one million PVC registrants.
19 September 2022
Peter Obi on CNN: Nigeria‘s Problems ‘Can be Dealt With Decisively’
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Last Friday, Labour Party presidential nominee, Peter Obi, was interviewed on CNN by reporter, Zain Asher.
When asked whether he believed that Nigeria’s problems could be solved by one person, Obi stated that even a leader with the capacity and commitment to solving these issues, cannot not solve them overnight. He however pledged a ‘clear, visible and measurable attempt’ made, to deal with Nigeria’s problems, which he described as ‘solvable’ and capable of being ‘dealt with decisively’.
Obi stated that his plan to bring Nigeria out of economic downturn involves tackling the issue of insecurity in the country. He further stated that greater security will enable farmers in the North to return to their farms and cultivate their land effectively, thereby taking them out of poverty.
There have been mixed reactions online following Obi’s CNN interview. Some of Obi’s supporters have said that he has been able to give Nigeria a positive image boost, and have contrasted his media engagements with the All Progressives Congress’ Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar, who have not been as engaging. Others, especially supporters of his rivals, played down the interview and criticized his comments, doubting whether Obi will take adequate action to support his words.
It remains to be seen if Obi’s rival nominees will be more active with interviews, when campaigning formally starts at the end of this month.
15 September 2022
ANAP’s Election Poll Shows Strong Peter Obi Lead Over Tinubu and Atiku
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Earlier today, Lagos-based ANAP Foundation released a poll on the chances of the frontrunners for president of Nigeria.
The poll is one of the earliest independent surveys released covering the 2023 cycle, and follows the tradition of the ANAP Foundation since the 2011 elections. ANAP’s poll showed a strong lead for Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential nominee, who polled 21 per cent ahead of other nominees. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, the nominees of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively, both received 13 per cent, while New Nigeria’s Democratic Party’s Rabiu Kwankwaso polled three per cent.
Obi’s supporters have used the polls to justify their online and offline engagement for their nominee. Conversely, supporters of Tinubu and Atiku have been quick to point out that the poll was commissioned before the official commencement of campaigning at the end of September.
A key finding of the poll shows the high number of ‘undecided voters’ and those who have decided to keep their preferred nominee confidential. These groups made up 32 per cent and 15 per cent of those surveyed, respectively. This definitely points to the expected challenge that all nominees will face to convince voters to support their candidacy ahead of the elections in February 2023.
14 September 2022
INEC Delists 1.1 million + ‘Invalid’ PVC Registrations
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) tweeted this press release. Signed by Festus Okoye, the national commissioner and chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, the press release addressed issues concerning the biometric data of Nigerian citizens for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
INEC stated that since the suspension of the CVR on 31 July 2022, approximately 44.6 per cent of the over 2.5 million new PVC registrants were found to have ‘invalid’ records. These registrants were were delisted as a result. To refute potential claims from those who may believe that they have been disenfranchised for no good reason, INEC also stated that its responsibility to make sure registrants are credible is crucial to uphold electoral integrity.
INEC’s declaration last Friday that election rigging is a thing of the past would seem to be an encouraging factor regarding voting in the 2023 general elections. It remains to be seen, however, whether delisting over one million voters will have an opposite and demoralizing effect on Nigerians.
13 September 2022
‘The Days of Wanton Manipulation of Elections Are Over.’
— INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Last Friday, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, declared that election results in Nigeria will no longer be vulnerable to manipulation. At a keynote stakeholder address in Abuja, Professor Yakubu explained that election rigging has now been resolved due to the new 2022 Electoral Act, which permits INEC to conduct voter accreditation and results management electronically through an Election Result Analysis Dashboard (ERAD).
‘The 2022 Electoral Act is Nigeria’s most ambitious and farthest-reaching iteration of its electoral act. The act is largely reflective of 12 years’ worth of delayed updates, but what will this new act mean for INEC?’
For information on the new electoral act read, ‘The Umpire’s New Clothes’, by Adekunle Adewumi.
According to Professor Yakubu, ERAD means that election results processing will now be more efficient and secure, due to advanced technology and the existing legal framework governing the elections. There have been numerous calls for young Nigerians—those between the ages of 18 and 34, who make up over 60 per cent of the population—to exercise their right to vote wisely. In the recently concluded continuous voter registration exercise, such young people accounted for 72.5 per cent of new voter card applications according to INEC with over 8.7 million new registrants.
12 September 2022
The 2023 General Elections ‘Are a Choice Between Freedom and Doom’ , Says Atiku
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
On Sunday, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential nominee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), issued a statement to Nigerian citizens, sharing his opinion that the forthcoming 2023 elections are ‘a choice between freedom and doom.’
According to Atiku (as he’s commonly known), the 2023 general elections will either lead to Nigeria’s freedom from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or inevitable doom should APC remain in power.
Atiku urged voters to use the remaining days leading up to the elections to encourage more people to vote. One way, he suggested, was by recruiting friends as ‘canvassers’ at the polling units, so that unified efforts can be made to ‘salvage the country’. Recognizing that salvaging the country will require significant effort on the part of voters, Atiku insisted that allowing APC to remain in power beyond May 29th 2023 is a major cause for concern.
One reason for Atiku’s concern may be that in the event APC wins the upcoming general elections, such a victory would further cement APC as the ruling party. Should APC potentially win a second term in office, for instance, this would give APC the same sixteen-year trackrecord of uninterupted governance that PDP currently holds. The longer APC stays in power, Atiku seems to imply, the more difficult it will be to unseat APC in future elections.
08 September 2022
2023 Elections: ‘We All Hope For Good Governance’ — Olu of Warri
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
On Tuesday in Abuja, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, underlined the importance of the 2023 general elections. This took place during a courtesy visit of the vice presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Bishop Isaac Idahosa. Olu Atuwatse III stated that the 2023 general elections are the most important elections for Nigeria and expressed the hope that they will lead to new opportunities for Nigerians and promote greater unity within Nigeria.
According to Olu Atuwatse III, the 2023 elections are a key part of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political well-being. He stated that Nigerians want their interests to be protected and are willing to see to it that good leaders are voted into power. ‘We all hope for good governance,’ he said. ‘There is hope for this country Nigeria, as citizens are particularly interested in this election and they would be up and doing regarding their civic responsibilities to vote.’
Olu Atuwatse III stressed that Nigeria is at a ‘crossroads’ and therefore, voters ought to do their due diligence to be well informed on the candidates, their parties and manifestos in order to make the best decision regarding the elections.
In April 2022, the Olu of Warri denied claims that he had endorsed the All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. At the time, he stated that he ‘has no political affiliation or preferred political candidate for any office in the forthcoming 2023 elections be it at the regional, sub-national or national level.’
07 September 2022
Peter Obi Denied $150 Million Diaspora Funding
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Yesterday, the Labour Party presidential nominee, Peter Obi, denied that his campaign had received a $150 million donation from benefactors in diaspora. ‘Nobody has given me anything,’ Obi insisted, ‘That is speculation. What I need is not what they would give me. But what they would give Nigeria, because we need them to turn around Nigeria.’
Obi’s statement comes after calls by groups on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi from the 2023 presidential race for receiving diaspora funding. Such groups include the ‘Tinubu-Shettima Connect’ associated with the All Progressives’ Congress. Their complaints also cited recent reports that national chair of the Labour Party, Julius Abare, had launched an eleven-man Diaspora Committee to organize fundraising activities.
The complaints have centered on whether it is lawful for a presidential nominee to receive funds originating outside Nigeria for electoral campaigns. While the relevant sections of the Electoral Act do not permit a party to retain funds or assets remitted to it from outside Nigeria, it does not explicitly forbid a candidate from receiving funding from Nigerians in the diaspora. Contention over the exact nuance is expected to result in a formal statement by the electoral body soon.
Obi has been meeting with Nigerians in Europe and the US, but has stated that these meetings are not campaigns but consultations—to avoid violating the regulation that only permits campaigning from the 28th of September.
06 September 2022
Enugu’s APC Governorship Candidate Rejects Tinubu’s Campaign Funds
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Uchenna Nnaji, the governorship candidate of APC in Enugu State, has rejected funding from APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Naming the allocation of campaign funds as the root cause of current ‘chaos’ within APC, Nnaji stated that, ‘the current crisis in Enugu APC is all about Tinubu’s campaign money. The so-called stakeholders are fighting to be in charge and preside over the disbursement of Tinubu’s money.’
Nnaji’s statement comes after an attempt at unseating Ugochukwu Agballah, the state party’s chairman, reportedly led by officials including former senate president, Ken Nnamani and foreign affairs minister, Geofrey Onyeama, on Tuesday. Nnaji stated that APC had never been a prominent political party in Enugu until Agballah assumed the role of chairman. He added that, ‘our leaders who want Agballah removed were not even paying for their ward offices across communities. Now, we have come to make the system work again and they want to remove us. Our executives are doing well and deserve every support they need. No other party can embark on the kind of tour we have embarked upon.’
Nnaji wants Enugu APC to use its own resources to fund its gubernatorial campaign and then seek reimbursement from APC after the 2023 elections have ended. He stated at an impromptu meeting held on Sunday, at the APC South-East zonal office, that he would be informing Tinubu that he does not want his election funds, today.
05 September 2022
The US Promises to Support Nigeria’s 2023 Elections
By Afoma Dike, Junior Editor
Last Saturday, at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and the United States in Washington, D.C., US vice president, Kamala Harris, met with Professor Yemi Osinbajo and shared the US’s support for the 2023 presidential election. Harris expressed optimism that the election will be peaceful and will reflect the will of the people, stating that ‘Nigeria is and must remain a bastion of democracy for West Africa.’
Harris also stated that ‘Africa’s leadership is key to confronting all of the global challenges we face and to that end, Nigeria is key. So, we look forward to strengthening our partnership.’ She went on to assure Osinbajo that both she and US president, Joe Bidden, ‘remain committed to strengthening our relationship with Nigeria, and with Africa, as a continent as a whole.’
That this show of support from the US comes just a few months after President Buhari’s stern warning to the US to stay out of the 2023 elections. Buhari had made these remarks during a dinner he hosted with foreign diplomats in May this year. According to critics, he had issued this warning despite the fact that he had benefitted from the US’s latent support during his 2015 presidential campaign.
01 September 2022
Goodluck Jonathan Refrains From Endorsing a Candidate
By Todah Opeyemi, Junior Editor
Yesterday, former president, Goodluck Jonathan, declared that he would be ‘neutral’ in the forthcoming 2023 polls.
In a statement he delivered yesterday at the Kukah School of Governance in Abuja, Jonathan explained that his neutrality stemmed from his position as a former president of Nigeria. He also spoke strongly against fascism in the country and intolerance of opposing views while warning that democratic principles go beyond winning elections; ‘they also involve tolerance of opposition,’ he said. The former president’s statement comes after he sat with the presidential nominee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during a close-door meeting which many expected would lead to a full endorsement.
Jonathan’s statement is also significant, since it means that the nominee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, will be deprived of the support of the PDP’s two living former presidents—Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo—who have both declared their neutrality ahead of the 2023 elections. This is a change from the 2019 elections, when both men campaigned against President Buhari, who was seeking a second term.
Critics might argue that Jonathan’s statement is inconsequential since Jonathan has not only avoided PDP events in recent years, but was also rumoured to lobby for APC’s 2023 presidential nomination. However, should Jonathan decide to reverse his position in the future, the weight of a former president’s endorsement will no doubt affect the state of the presidential race.
31 August 2022
Iyorchia Ayu criticizes those calling for his resignation
Earlier today, national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, stated that he will not resign from his position despite calls for him to do so.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Ayu explained that party members calling for his resignation have no reason to condemn his leadership and that his resignation would negatively affect PDP. Ayu added that those calling for his resignation are ‘boys’ who don’t understand how the party came to be formed in the first place.
For weeks, the PDP leader has been under increasing pressure from a group of governors and former governors close to Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike.
These associates had been complaining about an imbalance in the PDP’s leadership. They argue that Ayu and the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are both northerners and that the North would lead the party if they win the 2023 presidential election. They have specified that the national chairmanship is given to a southerner since the heads of the party’s major organs are all from the North.
While Ayu is being accused of being a partial and divisive leader, news reports say stepping down for a southern replacement was one of the terms of the recent London meeting between Atiku and Wike. Atiku and Wike had met over their feud and the internal crisis within PDP.
Atiku and the PDP cannot afford a weakened party so close to the official start of the campaign trail. As a result, PDP’s leaders are currently attempting to canvass more internal unity.
30 August 2022
INEC has launched the Election Crisis Communication Team
Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inaugurated the Election Crisis Communication Team (ECCT) in Abuja.
The launch was initiated by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).During the inauguration, INEC commissioner, Festus Okoye praised the CDD’s decision to supplement INEC’s responsibility by being ‘a think tank that approaches issues of national concern from an informed perspective based on thorough research.’
INEC created this specialized communication team with the help of CDD after admitting that, as a commission, they’ve faced increasing incidents of misrepresentation and that the general public does not have adequate understanding of their responsibility.
The ECCT is expected to ensure communications and awareness support the commission’s goal of conducting free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections in the 2023 elections.
While the establishment of an election crisis communications team is a welcome development, it will be interesting to see if the team will also include fighting misinformation and disinformation common during the election period, as well as working with or sensitizing political parties across the country on their efforts
29 August 2022
Ibrahim Shekarau returns to PDP
Today, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau officially announced his defection from the New Nigerian People Party (NNPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
PDP’s presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, led prominent dignitaries to receive Shekarau. A former governor of Kano State, Shekarau served as education minister in the last PDP administration under Goodluck Jonathan. Other attendees included Atiku’s running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, former vice-president Namadi Sambo, PDP’s national chair, Iyorchia Ayu, and former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido.
NNPP has not commented officially on Shekarau’s defection. Recent reports, however, showed a fallout between Shekarau and his NNPP associates over ticket distributions between supporters of Kwankwaso and Shekarau.
Shekarau’s decision to join Rabiu Kwankwaso, his former rival in Kano State politics was expected to make the state more competitive in coming elections.
Shekarau’s high support in Kano is evident by the fact that he was also wooed by the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC), despite defecting from them in May. Regardless, the window for substituting candidates for the forthcoming elections has closed which suggests that his reasons for leaving NNPP won’t be immediately addressed.
Furthermore, despite being a PDP member in 2015, the state still supported the APC during that election. The 2023 elections will be an interesting test of which politician has true support in the state, with the incumbent governor and his two recent predecessors now belonging to different parties.
25 August 2022
President Buhari says only APC members have his support
Yesterday, in a statement, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, said he will only support politicians of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 2023 general elections and not members who have left the party.
Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, also emphasized that former party members or politicians who have legal cases against any APC candidates will not be recognized in any way.
The presidency commends loyal APC members and says they should remain ‘disciplined soldiers’ of the party. The statement also added that politicians ‘outside the party tent’ should not link their political activities to President Buhari.
The president’s latest statement is believed to serve as a warning to decampees as they compete for various political seats with other political parties. Historically, obtaining or having presidential support in Nigeria’s election has been viewed as a winning criterion for public office.
24 August 2022
INEC’s case for a new electoral offenders commission
Yesterday, during a public hearing at the House of Representatives, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made a case for the creation of a new commission to deal with electoral offences.
The proposed commission was first mentioned as a recommendation from a committee to look into electoral reform following the controversial 2007 elections. It was established by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and led by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Muhammadu Uwais.
INEC Chair, Mahmoud Yakubu, stated the commission’s efforts to improve the country’s electoral process would be ineffective unless electoral offenders were effectively prosecuted. He also asserted that INEC’s current mandate was exhaustive and made it difficult for it to effectively prosecute and litigate electoral offenders. He cited that, since 2015, only 60 of 125 cases of electoral offences filed in various courts have resulted in convictions.
While most civil society organizations presented memoranda in favour of the bill, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission criticized the potential duplication of functions with existing agencies. The representative of the agency cited extant laws that gave prosecutorial powers on certain violations to existing agencies.
Despite the overwhelming level of support, including in both chambers of the National Assembly, it is not certain that the Bill will receive presidential assent in time to affect the 2023 elections. Notably, President Buhari did not sign an amended electoral act in 2018, citing its proximity to the 2019 elections. However, the administration might seek to consolidate the progress made in addressing recent election-related issues through the signing of the amended electoral act
23 August 2022
Obasanjo denies endorsing Tinubu’s presidential candidacy
Last Saturday, Nigeria’s former president and military head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, denied media reports that he endorsed APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement, Obasanjo’s special assistant on media, Kehinde Akinyemi, said the news of the endorsement by Obasanjo making the rounds, especially from supporters of Tinubu, is ‘unhelpful’.
Last week, we reported that Tinubu visited Obasanjo at his residence in Ogun State, and had a meeting behind closed doors that was reported to have lasted about four hours. According to Akinyemi, Tinubu’s visit was ‘more brotherly than political.’
Following the meeting, with Tinubu’s campaign team releasing some pictures of the visit, analysts posit that Tinubu might have sought Obasanjo’s endorsement.
With public presidential campaigns (or rallies) now less than 40 days away, candidates are beginning to pay more visits to key national and state stakeholders, or mobilizers. These visits also include traditional rulers as well as former national and political leaders, for what many of them describe as ‘seeking their blessings’.
22 August 2022
Atiku and Obi attend the NBA conference.
Earlier today, frontline presidential candidates for the 2023 elections were invited to address a plenary session at the 62nd annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) holding in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.
Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi, of the Labour Party, attended and addressed the delegates present. Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the New Nigerian People’s Party, was also invited but did not participate, while Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives’ Congress was represented by his running mate—Kashim Shettima.
While presidential campaigns have not formally commenced, candidates that attended used the opportunity to assess their popularity with members of the NBA. Atiku touched on his plans for devolution, Obi discussed his proposals to address employment while Shettima said he would be responsible for security affairs under a Tinubu presidency
While supporters of Obi and Atiku have held forte for their candidates on social media with clips from the event, Tinubu has been largely criticized for avoiding the event, especially with rumours surrounding his health. The NBA as a body does not endorse presidential nominees, but the event will no doubt play a part in determining who NBA members support in 2023.
18 August 2022
Kwankwaso appoints campaign spokespersons.
Yesterday, the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, named Abdulmumin Jibrin and Ladipo Johnson as the spokespersons for his campaign council.
In a tweet, the former Kano State governor stated that Jibrin and Johnson were appointed due to their experience in communication and that he trusts they will deliver NNPP’s objectives across Nigeria.
Jibrin is a former APC House of Representatives member. He joined the NNPP in May 2022, after a conflict with Kano State’s current governor, Abdullahi Ganduje. Before then, he had expressed support for APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Johnson, on the other hand, is a lawyer and the managing partner of a legal consulting firm, Agbese & Johnson. He is also the president of the African Institute of Enterprise Development and Management.
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has set September 28 as the date for political parties to begin public presidential campaigns (or rallies) across all states in Nigeria. According to INEC, campaigns will last until 24 hours before the election. With the timeline in focus, spokespersons for all political parties will have to sell their candidates to Nigerians within 150 days.
Tinubu meets Obasanjo in Ogun State
Yesterday, the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, visited former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, at his residence in Ogun State. Tinubu was accompanied by Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and other party chieftains.
The meeting was held behind closed doors, with Tinubu’s campaign team releasing some pictures of both men and Tinubu’s entourage. While images showed a cordial meeting, both men have had a contentious history in their political careers. During his presidency, Obasanjo directed the finance ministry to withhold local government funding allocation from Lagos State in response to Tinubu’s creation of Local Council Development Areas. As prominent politicians from the South West, both men also clashed over issues especially as they represented different parties.
However, ahead of the 2015 election, Tinubu led a delegation to visit the former president, seeking his help to serve as ‘a navigator’ after the formation of APC. Obasanjo has since been critical of the Buhari-led government and openly called on the president to resign in one of his letters.
While Tinubu will likely have sought his endorsement, he might also have met with Obasanjo to weaken the campaign of his rival from the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar. Obasanjo has repeatedly criticized Atiku for his conduct while serving as his vice-president during his two terms in office (1999-2007). Tinubu’s campaign is likely to emphasize this point, especially if Obasanjo decides not to endorse his former deputy.
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 only 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.
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.
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 by the presidency and in with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act. Today, the president sent a letter to the Senate requesting confirmation of the 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.’
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.
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.
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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