Nigeria is set to hold its 5th presidential election under its 4th republic on the 25th of February, 2023.
This election is said to be one of the most important in the country’s history.
Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is set to hold its general election in two days, on Saturday 25 February 2023., and what has come to be described as the country’s most pivotal election seems to be all anyone in the country is talking about.
The outgoing president Muhammad Buhari is leaving office after almost eight years in charge in a tenure synonymous with widespread dissatisfaction.
As a result, most of the country’s population is clinging to the hope that the next president would be able to procure solutions to the problems the country is currently facing. This is why now more than ever, the political debates, and subjects touched on by the political aspirants are being listened to and considered heavily, and this more than ethnicity preference would be a deciding factor in who wins the election.
As Nigeria’s most pivotal election inches closer, here are 10 things to know to keep yourself in the loop.
Presidential aspirants: Contrary to the popular belief that Nigeria’s election is a 2 man race, between the country’s 2 most dominant political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), there are, in reality, 18 presidential aspirants.
New power player: Nigeria’s presidential races in the past have typically been between the two aforementioned parties or at least a semblance of them. However, this election’s third powerhouse from a fairly new party has emerged. His name is MR. Peter Obi, and is representing the newly formed Labour Party (LP).
3-man race: As mentioned earlier, there are 18 presidential aspirants, however, the race which would have typically been between APC and PDP who control the majority of the country’s political space, is now between, the APC, the PDP, and the LP, as the LP candidate in an unprecedented turn of events has managed to garner an astonishing ton of support across the country, particularly amongst the youths.
Profiles: The APC is represented by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 70, a Muslim from the South-West region. He is the former governor of the Western state of Lagos. The LP is represented by MR. Peter Obi, 60, a Christian from the South-East region. He is the former governor of the Eastern state of Anambra. And the PDP is represented by Atiku Abubakar. He is the former Vice President of the country.
Registered voters: Despite Nigeria having a population of over 200 million people, less than 50% of the population are registered voters. The estimated amount of registered voters is between 90 to 95 million. However, this is said to be the highest voters turnout in the history of the country’s election, 11% up from the last elections held in 2019, which recorded 84 million registered voters.
Results announcement: Based on historical precedence, particularly the last two elections, the results are expected to be announced on the 28th of February, 3 days after voting.
How the winner is decided: To win, a contender must receive the most votes overall, as well as more than 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of each state in Nigeria. If none of the candidates succeed in doing this, the top two candidates will contend in a run-off within 21 days.
16th President: Under Nigeria’s 4th republic, which began in 1999, this election would be Nigeria’s 5th democratic election, and whoever wins would be the 5th president of the republic. However, they would officially be considered Niegria’s 16th head of state, and the 13th person to rule the country as none of the major candidates has served in the capacity of head of state in the past.
Youth participation: Youth participation in Nigerian politics has been a hot-button discussion until these elections. While the youths have been vocal and proactive, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is responsible for organizing the elections in Nigeria relayed that approximately 40% of registered voters this year are between the ages of 18 and 34.
Polling Units: To service the country’s tremendous voting turnout, the elections would hold across all 36 states and would have around 176,846 polling units across the country. Also, feature innovations including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, which combines fingerprint and face biometrics to verify voters’ identities, and the electronic transmission of results from polling units directly to the INEC Result Viewing Portal, would be used.