Nigerians go to the poll today to elect a new president and 468 federal lawmakers. It is the first phase of the 2023 general election with the governorship and state assembly poll holding in two weeks.
This year’s general election is the seventh since the restoration of democracy in the country. The previous elections were held in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.The 18 registered parties are fielding candidates in today’s election, the most keen in Nigeria’s contemporary political history.
The presidential candidates and their parties are Christopher Imumolen (Accord), Hamza Al-Mustapha (AA), Omoyele Sowore (AAC), Dumebi Kachikwu (ADC), Yabani Sani (ADP), Bola Tinubu (APC), Peter Umeadi (APGA), Princess Ojei (APM) and Charles Nnadi (APP).Others are Sunday Adenuga (BP), Peter Obi (LP), Rabi’u Kwankwaso (NNPP), Felix Osakwe (NRM), Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Kola Abiola (PRP), Adebayo Adewole (SDP), Ado Ibrahim Abdulmalik (YPP) and Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP).
Despite the array of the presidential hopefuls, analysts and watchers of Nigeria’s democracy have, however, dubbed the election a four-horse race between Messrs Tinubu, Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso.
Regardless, whoever emerges the winner of today’s contest will be sworn in on 29 May for a four-year term to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose second term in office lapses on that day.
On the other hand, over 4,000 candidates are standing for elections into the two chambers of the National Assembly. While about 1,100 are gunning for 108 out of the 109 seats in the Senate, a total of 3,057 candidates are contesting for the 360 seats in the House of Representatives.
Election will not hold in Enugu East Senatorial District until 11 March because of Wednesday’s murder of the candidate of the Labour Party, Oyibo Chukwu.