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Who is who? Nigeria’s big giants battling for the presidency

Over 200 million people are expected to throng some over 176,000 polling stations across the 36 states of Nigeria to cast their vote for their respective preferred presidential, senatorial, and national assembly candidates.

It’s a hot race and all eyes worldwide are on Nigeria, the biggest African country, with many looking out, especially for who wins the most sought-after position to lead the country as president.

The winner in this race will take over the seat of presidency from the incumbent; Muhammadu Buhari who took over from former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and has led the country for 8 years since 2015.

There are 3 major parties being looked at, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Labour Party (LP).

The three persons leading these parties are Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi.

In this piece, we break down the political profiles of these 3 giants in the race for Nigerian’s presidency:

Peter Obi:

Peter Obi, who is fondly called “Okutwute” meaning “Rock” is the flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP). He was born on 19th July 1961 at Onitsha.

Peter Obi contested in the Anambra State Governorship Election as a candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party in 2003; but his opponent, Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party, was declared winner.

After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi took office for governorship on 17 March 2006. On 2 November 2006, he was impeached by the state house of assembly after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy.

On 12 October 2018, Peter Obi was named as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate in the 2019 presidential election. As a candidate for Vice President, Obi opposed proposals for a standardized national minimum wage, arguing that different states should have different minimum wages. The Abubakar/Obi ticket came second.

On 24 March 2022, Peter Obi declared his intention to run for the position of President of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, but later pulled out and announced he would be running under the Labour Party platform instead.

Obi reportedly complained of massive bribing of delegates and vote buying at party’s presidential primary, citing the existence of a party clique collaborating against him.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu:

Bola Ahmed Tinubu popularly called Asiwaju of Lagos is currently the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress and He was was born in Lagos State.

His political career began in 1992 when he joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and was also elected as a senator in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where he represented Lagos West Senatorial District. He further became one of the founding members of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) which was a body that rooted for the winner of the June 12, 1993 election.

He was a protégé of Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo, leaders of Alliance for Democracy (AD). He defeated his opponents, Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu. In the 1999 gubernatorial election, he won the position of governor of Lagos State.

Being the governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 he made investments in education, initiated new road construction, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population rate of the state at the time. Just as he won the election in 1999, he was also re-elected as the governor, and his deputy, Femi Pedro in 2003, where he was the only governor in the south west who didn’t fall through to PDP.

Tinubu was also very active in the creation of the Action Congress (AC) political party and was succeeded by Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who was his Chief of staff.

Atiku Abubakar:

Atiku Abubakar is hoping to be president on the ticket of Nigeria’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Atiku Abubakar was born 25 November 1946. He served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Since the return to democracy, Abubakar has contested in all the elections.

In 1993, he contested the Social Democratic Party presidential primaries losing to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He ran twice as Governor of Adamawa State in 1990 and later, in 1998, was elected before becoming Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate during the 1999 presidential election and re-elected in 2003.

In 2006, Abubakar fell out with his boss Olusegun Obasanjo and left from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in preparation for the 2007 elections.

Following the 2007 elections, Abubakar returned to the People’s Democratic Party. In October 2010 he announced his intention to contest for the Presidency.

In 2014, he joined the All Progressives Congress ahead of the 2015 presidential election and contested the presidential primaries losing to Muhammadu Buhari. In 2017, he returned to the Peoples Democratic Party and was the party presidential candidate during the 2019 presidential election, again losing to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

Abubakar has four wives and twenty eight children.





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