Nigeria’s Game of Thrones for the 2023 presidential election is currently at the point where everybody and their grandmother is laying claim to the Iron Throne. We recently made a list of some of the aspirants in the race, but a few more people have declared their intention since then to replace President Buhari in 2023.
Let’s see who’s shooting their shots at the most difficult job in the country.
You may remember Atiku Abubakar as Nigeria’s vice president between 1999 and 2007. What you may not know is that he’s been involved in every single presidential election since 1993. To clarify: he’s been either a vice presidential candidate, presidential aspirant or candidate in Nigeria’s past seven presidential elections since the 1990s. But he’s only made it to the general election ballots for the presidential position twice: in 2007 and 2019.
When he officially declared his intention to join the race for the 2023 presidential election on March 23rd 2022, the former vice president said he was obeying the “brave voices” of Nigerians who told him to try again. He wants Nigerians to remember him as the 11-year-old village orphan that reared cattle and rose through adversity to become successful.
Atiku’s big rallying cry for the 2023 election is to unify Nigerians, and we’re guessing he’s going to need more than cellotape to pull that off.
Politicians lie all the time about how they joined an election race because ordinary people pressured them to run, but that’s hardly the case for Peter Obi. Since he stopped being Anambra State governor in 2014, his name has always popped up as a viable potential for the presidency.
For the 2019 presidential election, Obi settled for being a vice presidential candidate alongside Atiku. This time around, he’ll be running head-to-head against Atiku for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Aminu Tambuwal has been a busy politician by all standards. He won his first election to enter the House of Representatives in 2003 and won two more before he left in 2015 as Speaker. From the National Assembly, he jumped right into the governorship seat for Sokoto State in 2015 and won a second term in 2019.
He’s also jumped parties as regularly as the national grid collapses. He started from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) before he jumped to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and back to the ANPP and then almost immediately to the PDP. He stayed with the PDP for seven years before he jumped to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, and then back to the PDP again four years later.
This is not the first time Tambuwal is eyeing the presidency too. He finished second behind Atiku in the PDP’s primary election four years ago, and the two will do battle once again for 2023.
Without context, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State does things like this:
Wike has been a cornerstone of the PDP for years and his retirement plan after eight years as Rivers State governor is the presidency. When he officially announced his intention to run for the top seat, he mentioned that his strategy is to take power from the APC and save Nigeria.
We’ll let him use his own words to describe his claim to the presidency, “When a mad man flogs you, don’t run. If you run, the mad man will pursue you. If he flogs you, take a stick and flog the mad man. If you do that, the mad man will start running. This APC requires people to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ and I’m that person that can tell them.”
We can be sure that the 2023 presidential election will be anything but boring with this one around.
With primary elections set to start in April 2022, more people may join the 2023 presidential race. But not to worry, we’ll keep you updated.