All 18 registered political parties fielded candidates going into last Saturday’s Presidential election in Nigeria.
From the first listed but almost unknown Party ‘A’, which is actually the Accord Party, to ZLP – Zenith Labour Party – they all shouted ‘me too’, ‘me too’ when asked who is the candidate for this or that party.
From results declared so far, it is clear that those candidates were just there to make up the numbers, including the only female presidential candidate, 44-year-old Princess Chichi Ojei of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM. Nice name, Chichi.
The original three front-running candidates – Peter Obi of Labour Party, LP, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of All Progressives Congress, APC, and Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have maintained their rating, with Rabiu Kwankaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, tagging along.
We can therefore decide conclusively that the next President of Nigeria is one out of these four men, whether directly from the elections, which will not favour the lawyers, or through litigation and court decision up to the Supreme Court.
The challenge of the election results is not unthinkable. It has always happened, right up to the Supreme Court, and some of us think sometimes the court may decide on what the people did not intend. But who are we, when we make things difficult for ourselves by subjecting the people’s will – including those of the youths and teenagers – to the decision of about 7 old men and women who poring through pages of books and documents and coming out with something cast in stone.
Back to our next President. Yes, if the will of the people comes into play, one of these men will be sworn in on 29th May 2023.
Individually, they are all immensely qualified educationally and in experience, from what we have in their profiles in the public domain.
Listing them alphabetically, Atiku Abubakar is of the PDP and his Alma Mater are listed as Ahmadu Bello University and Anglia Ruskin University; while his occupation has him as a businessman and politician.
At 75 years old and the oldest of the candidates officially, his birthday is stated as 25th November 1946 and has served as the Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. He ran as governor of Adamawa State in 1990, 1997 and later, in 1998, being elected before becoming Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate during the 1999 presidential election and re-elected in 2003.
Atiku Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested five times for the Office of President of Nigeria in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. In 1993, he contested the Social Democratic Party presidential primaries losing to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He was a presidential candidate of the Action Congress in the 2007 presidential election coming in third to Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP. He contested the presidential primaries of the People’s Democratic Party during the 2011 presidential election losing out to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
Next is Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, whose Alma Mater is given as Chicago State University and occupations as accountant and politician, with the listed age as 70, with given date of birth as 29th March 1952. He served as Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and Senator for Lagos West during the brief Third Republic.
His profile says he spent his early life in South-Western Nigeria and later moved to the United States where he studied Accounting at Chicago State University. He returned to Nigeria in the early 1980s and was employed by Mobil Nigeria as an accountant, before entering politics as a Lagos West senatorial candidate in 1992 under the banner of the Social Democratic Party. After then military Head of State General Sani Abacha dissolved the Senate in 1993, Tinubu became an activist campaigning for the return of democracy as a part of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO.
Although he went into exile in 1994, he returned after Abacha’s 1998 death triggered the beginning of the transition to the Fourth Republic.
In the first post-transition Lagos State gubernatorial election, Tinubu won as a member of the Alliance for Democracy over the Peoples Democratic Party’s Dapo Sarumi and the All People’s Party’s Nosirudeen Kekere-Ekun. Four years later, he won re-election to a second term over the PDP’s Funsho Williams.
61-year-old Peter Gregory Obi, who is the youngest of the four candidates, is of the Labour Party and his Alma Mater is University of Nigeria, with his occupation listed as businessman and politician.
He was born 19th July 1961 and served as governor of Anambra State from March to November 2006, February to May 2007, and from June 2007 to March 2014. In May 2022, he became the Labour Party candidate for President of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential election.
From Onitsha, Obi graduated from the University of Nigeria in 1984. Afterwards, he entered business and banking, eventually rising to hold several high-ranking executive positions at banks. By the early 2000s, Obi was the chairman of Fidelity Bank before leaving the position to enter politics. Obi ran for governor in 2003, as a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA but his main opponent was declared victorious. After three years of legal battles, Obi was declared the winner in 2006 and assumed office in March 2006.
66-year-old Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party has as his Alma Mater, Middlesex Polytechnic Loughborough University of Technology, and occupation as politician, civil servant and engineer.
Kwankwaso was born 21st October 1956 and was Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015. After he lost his re-election in 2003, he was appointed the first Minister of Defence of the Fourth Republic from 2003 to 2007, under the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo. He was later elected to the Senate in 2015, serving one term under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, representing Kano Central Senatorial District.
He is currently the national leader of the New Nigeria Peoples Party and enjoys widespread support in Kano and North-Western Nigeria. In 2011, he was re-elected governor of the state and went on to join the All Progressives Congress in 2014. In 2015, Kwankwaso unsuccessfully contested the presidential primaries nomination under the opposition All Progressive Congress, but lost to Muhammad Buhari. In 2018, he returned to the People’s Democratic Party and contested the presidential primaries losing out to Atiku Abubakar.
In a matter of hours, we should know who will be Mr. President. We hope INEC will not keep us in suspense for too long and the disappointment of the process since Saturday should not be repeated.
BIO SOURCE: civichive.org