Nigeria 2023 Election and the Shape of Things to Come

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The 2023 general election in Nigeria is expected to be a crucial one, with far-reaching implications for the country’s political, economic, and social future. In addition to the election, Nigeria is planning to conduct a census, its first since 2006.

The combination of these two significant events, along with evolving security and economic challenges, means that the year 2023 might be one of the most consequential in Nigerian history since the return to democracy in 1999.

As things stand, the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), appears to have the edge over the major opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as well as other leading political parties. This is due in part to the fact that some of these parties, such as the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), do not have the required national spread to win a national election.

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Labour Party Flagbearer, Peter Obi

It is also worth noting that President Buhari’s victory in the 2015 and 2019 elections was due in part to the popularity of the APC as a party, rather than his personal popularity as a candidate.

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It is worth noting that the presidential candidates of LP and NNPP are former leaders of the PDP, making these parties offshoots or relics of the PDP. This development inevitably weakens the PDP’s chances and strengthens those of the APC. It can be argued that a vote for LP or NNPP is indirectly a vote for the APC and a blow to the opposition’s hopes of wresting power away from the ruling party.

Nigeria- I Will Name And Shame Oil Thieves, If Elected - Atiku Abubakar (News Central TV)
PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar

However, it is important to note that the political landscape can change quickly, with last-minute alignments and realignments often occurring in the lead-up to an election. Nevertheless, the current patterns and algorithms of past elections, especially the 2019 election, suggest that the APC stands a good chance of retaining central power.

Given the current state of affairs, it is important for all political parties to focus on presenting credible candidates and policies that resonate with the Nigerian people.

Voters are increasingly demanding more from their leaders, particularly in the areas of security, economic development, and infrastructure. The government must also take steps to ensure a free and fair election, which is critical to maintaining public confidence in the democratic process.

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No doubt, the current economic challenges in Nigeria, such as Naira scarcity and fuel crisis will impact Bola Tinubu’s fortune in the 2023 polls, he’s been known to tactically manoeuvre his way through difficult situations.

Firstly, it’s important to note that Tinubu, as a prominent politician and business mogul, has a diversified portfolio and investments outside of Nigeria. Therefore, his overall fortune may not be solely dependent on the state of the Nigerian economy.

Nigeria: APC’s Tinubu Visits Birnin Gwari in Kaduna, Vows to End Insecurity (News Central TV)
APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

In terms of the impact on his political prospects, the current economic challenges may play a role in shaping public opinion and political narratives. For example, if the Naira continues to depreciate and fuel scarcity persists, Nigerians may become increasingly dissatisfied with the ruling party and its perceived handling of the economy. This could work in favour of opposition candidates, including Tinubu, who could leverage these sentiments to gain support.

Beyond the economy, several other factors at play in Nigerian politics include regional and ethnic affiliations, party machinery, and incumbency advantage. Tinubu’s political fortune will likely depend on how he navigates these factors oiled by political alliances, regional support, and voter sentiment all of which will likely be more significant in determining the outcome of the 2023 polls.

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This election, for Nigeria, is set to be a pivotal moment in the country’s history. While the ruling APC appears to have the edge, much can change between now and the election.

Nigeria’s electoral umpire, INEC, and the government must ensure a free and fair election. Ultimately, it is the Nigerian people who will decide the direction of the country’s future.

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