As the Nigeria election 2023 approaches, the question of who leads Nigeria after eight years of perceived economic downturn and insecurity has brought a mix of anxiety and nerves.
Nigerians will have to elect their preferred candidate to take over the reins of government from President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on February 25, 2023.
To this effect, some politicians have signified their interest in assuming the seat of power come the Nigeria election 2023. Among them are the popular faces, the not-so-popular ones, and the new faces, who must be recognized for their courage to battle with the immensely popular and experienced politicians.
This piece aims to dish out useful info to help Nigerians know the contestants if they don’t already. However, the candidates will have to scale the primaries hurdle before winning the ticket to fly their respective parties’ flags at the contest to elect the leader of the most populous black nation in the world.
Also, note that Skabash will update this article to give you up-to-date information until the end of the Nigeria election 2023.
HOW THE RACE STARTED
African Action Congress
Sowore, the name strikes different bells in the heads of Nigerians. Some know him as a politician, others as a troublesome activist, while some know him as the publisher of Sahara Reporters, an online news medium.
Born in 1971, the Ondo State indigene is one of the youngest contestants in the Nigeria election 2023. The 51-year-old studied Geography and Planning at the University of Lagos from 1989 to 1995 after having two extra years due to his activism. He was the President of the Student Union Government at the institution between 1992 and 1994. He also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, United States.
Sowore also led 5,100 students in a protest against the government in 1992 over the conditions of a $120 million loan to be used for Nigerian pipelines. Seven students died in the protest after security operatives opened fire to disperse the crowd.
He contested the presidential election of 2019, where he came fifth with 33,953 votes.
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Bola Ahmed Tinubu
A political colossus, Tinubu is regarded as one of the favourites for victory in the Nigeria election 2023. His experience as a former senator and Governor of Lagos State and time in different political parties, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and now the APC, gives him an edge.
Tinubu, born March 29, 1952, first studied at the Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, Illinois, and then Chicago State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1979.
After the annulment of the 1993 presidential election, believed to have been won by MKO Abiola, Tinubu, 70, became a founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition, which mobilized support for the restoration of democracy.
He became Lagos governor in 1999 under the AD platform, and while other southwestern states fell to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he managed to win re-election in 2003.
Bola Tinubu’s giant strides in politics have always been tainted with allegations of corruption. In 2007, he was brought before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on allegations of operating 16 bank accounts while in office. He was, however, cleared. He was also cleared by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In 2013, Tinubu orchestrated the merger of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the new PDP, a faction of serving governors of the PDP to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Professor Yemi Osinbajo
Osinbajo, Nigeria’s current Vice President, is a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He was President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 election. He had his education at the University of Lagos and London School of Economics before he started lecturing at the former while practicing law in 1999.
He served under Tinubu as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos. He returned to lecturing and preaching at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in 2007 when Tinubu left office.
Yemi Osinbajo, born on March 9, 1957, is regarded as eloquent and cerebral. Critics of Buhari had sometime said he was more capable, especially during his short stints on the job when the President was away on medical vacation. He was, however, the subject of an alleged N90 billion fraud. The money was said to have been used to fund the 2019 campaign of President Buhari. The 65-year-old described the allegations as rubbish and was never actually proven to date.
The former Governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015 is no newcomer to politics. He was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007.
He was Secretary of the National Republican Convention in Ikwerre LGA, Rivers State, during the transition to the Third Nigerian Republic. He was also Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of the state, Peter Odili, from 1992 to 1994.
Rotimi Amaechi, 56, was Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) caretaker committee during the transition programme of General Sani Abacha.
He was accused of corruption after his tenures as governor, with his successor Nyesom Wike accusing him of squandering over $300 million belonging to the state to campaign for Buhari.
He was Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation in 2015 and has been the Minister of Transportation from the same year to date.
He got his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Studies and Literature from the University of Port Harcourt in 1987.
Former Anambra State Governor, now Minister of Labour and Employment, Ngige has been on the political scene for over two decades, and his experience cannot be doubted.
The medical doctor, 69, was elected governor in 2003 under controversial circumstances. However, in 2005, a tribunal declared his election void. His appeal in 2016 failed, and he was replaced by Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Ngige tried to become governor again after Obi was impeached, but he was handed a ‘federal disqualification.’ Obi eventually returned to the office to complete his tenure.
He would later re-contest for the office but lost. In 2011, he contested the Anambra Central senatorial election and won. He, however, lost his re-election bid in 2015. He was after that appointed minister in the same year.
He has also had his fair share of controversy. He was accused of being a member of the dreaded Okija cult and was alleged to have appeared naked in the shrine in his bid to become governor, which was exposed and human parts found in it.
Currently the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello is seen as the youth in the race to be President. He is 46 years old.
Bello had his education at the Kaduna State, Zaria, in 1995, obtaining an accounting degree from Ahmadu Bello University in 1999. He obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 2002.
Bello became governor in 2015 after the death of the APC’s Abubakar Audu, who won the election but died before the results were announced. His political journey has been short but tainted with accusations of fraud, incitement of violence, and a US visa ban.
Bello had started a chant, which had ‘you go hear am tatatata’ as part of its lyrics. The chant was warning his opponents of impending gunshots if they didn’t join his bandwagon. He has also been accused of misappropriating funds, leading to the non-payment of salaries of civil servants. He was slammed with a visa ban by the United States in 2020 as one of those undermining democracy in Nigeria.
Bello also attracted condemnation after he insisted that his state was COVDI-19 free, refusing to enforce preventive measures or allow vaccines.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi, is one of the contestants from the southwest. He is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The 57-year-old had his education at the University of Lagos and the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), obtaining degrees in History, Politics, and International Relations. He got his doctorate degree from Kings College, London, in 1993.
Fayemi has taught in Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. He was the main technical adviser to Nigeria’s Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel), which investigated past abuses. He also served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on Security Sector Reform, NEPAD, and the Millennium Development Goals. He was a technical expert to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on small arms and light weapons and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues. He also served as a consultant to the OECD on Security Sector Reform. He chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Committee of Experts on developing guiding principles and mechanisms of constitution-making in Commonwealth Africa.
He first became governor in 2010 under the platform of Action Congress after a tribunal nullified Segun Oni’s election in the 2007 polls. However, in his bid to return for a second term, he lost to Ayo Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014. He became Minister of Solid Minerals Development in 2015 and resigned in 2018 to recontest the Ekiti guber poll, which he won.
Fayemi was accused of corruption after leaving the ministry and his tenure as governor. He was said to have misappropriated N25 billion in infrastructure funds but was found innocent by anti-graft agencies.
In 2018 when he became governor for the second time, he was accused of electoral fraud. He was said to have bribed officials of INEC and the primary committee.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State studied Civil Engineering at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and graduated in 1987. In 1990, he cofounded Norman Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited with Ombo Isokari. He also was Chief Executive Officer of Brass Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited until 2011. He also served as CEO of other companies during the period.
Umahi, 57, became acting chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi in 2007 before becoming Chairman from 2009 to 2011. He also served for a year on the board of the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba, Delta State. He later became deputy governor in 2011, with Martin Elechi as governor. The relationship between the pair turned sour in 2014 when Elechi supported Onyebuchi Chukwu as his successor, a decision Umahi said negated their agreement. However, Umahi defeated Elechi’s anointed candidate in the party primaries.
He was elected governor in 2015 amid allegations of fraud and violence during the electoral process. He, however, was re-elected for a second term in 2019. He sparked criticism and division in the state House of Assembly when he decamped to the APC in November 2020.
On March 8, 2022, Umahi was sacked by the Federal High Court in Abuja for defecting. However, on April 1, the Court of Appeal in Ebonyi nullified the earlier ruling, saying his defection was not unconstitutional. The Federal Court of Appeal in Abuja has yet to hear the case.
Umahi is not without allegations of corruption. He was accused of transferring over N3.6 billion to his company, Brass Engineering. He denied the allegation and sued the paper that published the story, demanding N2 billion damages.
Amosun, former Governor of Ogun State and two-term Senator, started his political career in 2003 when he was elected Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly. He lost his first bid to be governor in 2007 to Gbenga Daniel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He, however, achieved his dream in 2011 under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He went on to win a second term in 2015 before returning to the Senate in 2019 for a second term as Senator.
Amosun, 64, also had his fair share of controversies while in office as governor. A news report had accused him of importing over 1,000 AK-47 rifles, bulletproof vests, and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) without obtaining necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser. He also violated the Nigeria Firearms Act. He claimed governors usually had armories in their government houses, to which 20 governors debunked his claim.
He went to Ogun State Polytechnic, graduating with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in 1983.
Amosun gained an Associate membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1990. He became a fellow of the Institute in 1996. He also became an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (1998).
The former Minister of State for Education may not be as popular as the other aspirants, but he has been around for longer than you may know.
The 55-year-old had his Bachelor’s degree in law at the Imo State University before proceeding to the University of Lagos for a Master of Laws (LLM) and a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Jos. He was called to bar in 1989.
His attempt to be Governor of Imo State failed three times- in 2003, 2007, and 2011 on the All People’s Party platform. He, however, served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003.
Nwajiuba was a founding member of the All Progressives Congress and Secretary of the Constitution drafting committee that produced the Constitution that gave birth to the All Progressives Congress in 2013. He was the Chairman of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund from 2017 to 2019.
He was nominated for a ministerial role and became a Minister of State for Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 before resigning after President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive in May 2022.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Many remember him as the former Vice President under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007, but the wealthy businessman actually contested the presidential ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) but lost to MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in 1993.
Many may also not know that Atiku, 75, has been in politics since the 80s when Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was second-in-command Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters between 1976 and 1979. He joined the Peoples Front of Nigeria, becoming Vice-Chairman in 1989 in the run-up to the Third Nigerian Republic.
He had also contested for the office of the Governor of Adamawa State in 1990, 1997, and later in 1998. He also ran for President in 2007 under the platform of Action Congress, losing to Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and coming third behind Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP). Atiku went on to contest in 2011 and 2019 but lost. He also entered the race in 2015 after joining the APC in 2014; however, he lost the primaries to Buhari.
He left the APC in 2017 and returned to the PDP, where he has remained to date.
Interestingly, Atiku’s father, Garba, did not want him to go to school, so he was jailed for eight days until his wife, Aisha Kande, paid the fine.
Atiku Abubakar left the Nigeria Police College, Kaduna, when he could not present an O’level Mathematics result. He proceeded to the Regional Ministry of Finance, where he worked as a Tax Officer. He later moved to the School of Hygiene, Kano, in 1966. He graduated with a Diploma in 1967 and proceeded to the Amadu Bello University Institute of Administration, where he got a Law Diploma in 1969. He got into the Nigeria Customs Service in the same year during the civil war. He got a Master’s degree in International Relations at the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
The Waziri of Adamawa also has some stains on his garment. After his tenure as Vice President, he was accused of corruption; although none of them was proven, many believed he was guilty after his former principal, Obasanjo described him as corrupt.
His latest controversy was very recent. He had deleted a tweet and a Facebook post condemning the killing of Deborah Samuel, a Shehu Shagari College of Education student accused of insulting Prophet Muhammad in Sokoto after some northern followers claimed they would not vote for him in the Nigeria election 2023 for condemning the mob action. He defended his action by saying the posts were not authorized in the first place.
A former Governor of Kwara State and Senate President of the eighth National Assembly, Saraki studied at King’s College, Lagos, before proceeding to Cheltenham College, a public boarding school in the United Kingdom, from 1979 to 1981.
The 59-year-old bagged a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London between 1982 and 1987. He was a board member of the now defunct Societe Generale Bank from 1990 to 2000 before President Obasanjo appointed Special Adviser on Budget in 2000.
Saraki became governor of Kwara in 2003, and in 2007, he was re-elected for a second term. He also became Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum in the same year.
He declared his interest in running for President in 2011 but stepped down for Atiku after he was adopted as the northern consensus candidate.
He moved on to the Senate in 2011 and won another term in 2015. He became the Senate President in his second year, against the wish of Bola Tinubu, leader of the APC and President Buhari. He left the PDP in 2014 after a falling out and joined the APC.
He returned in 2018.
Bukola Saraki was accused of corruption at different times. He was mentioned in Paradise Papers in 2017 but was cleared by the Supreme Court in 2018. He was also accused of laundering over N3.5 billion in Paris Club refunds while governor. The CCT acquitted him in 2018 after he had been investigated for charges related to his acquisitions while in office and making false declarations about his assets.
Again, he was questioned after the deadly Offa Robbery in 2018 after reports linked him with one of the robbers. However, in 2021, some suspects claimed that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers forced them to implicate Saraki.
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was born December 13, 1963. He is the current Governor of Rivers State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). An Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Wike was educated at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree before proceeding to Law School in 1997. Wike holds a Master of Arts degree in Political and Administrative Studies from the same institution.
He was two-term local government chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area from 1999 to 2007 before he was named Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. He became two-time Minister of State for Education on July 14, 2011. He became the acting Minister of Education when Mrs. Ruqqayatu was sacked. However, he resigned to pursue the office of Governor of Rivers State. He won the election in 2015, but a tribunal nullified it and ordered a rerun after Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress challenged his victory.
Wike, in 2019, won a second term in office and was sworn in on May 29 of the same year.
Wike has had controversies during his time in office, with most centered on his alleged disrespect for the rule of law. His utterances to traditional rulers in the state some years ago also drew some condemnation as many bemoaned his perceived disrespect for the royal fathers, most of whom are older than him.
Anyim Pius Anyim
Anyim was born on February 19, 1961, in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He had his secondary and university education at Ishiagu High School, Federal School of Arts and Science, and the Imo State University, respectively.
Anyim joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), where he won a Senate election. The result was, however, nullified with General Sani Abacha’s death on June 8, 1998. He then joined the PDP during the transitional regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999. He replaced Chuba Okadigbo as Senate President in August 2000 after he was impeached. He served until 2003.
He served as Secretary to the Government of the Federation under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan after his appointment in 2011.
Anyim has had his own share of controversies. In November 2022, he indefinitely suspended Senator Arthur Nzeribe of Imo State due to an alleged N22 million fraud. It, however, emerged that Anyim suspended Nzeribe after learning he was planning an impeachment motion against him.
He also threatened Justice Egbo Egbo, an Abuja High Court judge, that he could order his arrest for opposing the passage of the Senate’s anti-graft Independent Corruption Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) law.
Also, in 2003, he was alleged to have sponsored candidates of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) against his party members in Ebonyi.
In January 2010, he led a delegation of 41 eminent Nigerians that called on President Umaru Yar’Adua to urgently transmit a letter of his incapacitation to the National Assembly to salvage the nation’s democracy from danger. He praised the Senate when they passed a resolution on February 9, 2010, to make Vice President Goodluck Jonathan Acting President.
Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State was born on October 5, 1958. He had his university education at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.
He started in the civil service as an administrative officer at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he worked till 1994 before moving to the Presidency (Cabinet Secretariat) as Principal Administration Officer. Between 1995 and 2005, he rose being the Chief Supplies Officer at the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals – to assistant director at the Federal Ministry of Power and Steel – to Deputy Director/SA to Honorable Minister at the Federal Ministry of Transport – to Director of Administration at the Nigerian Railway Corporations – to Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister of Aviation – to Director of Administration and Supplies at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.
Mohammed was Minister of Federal Capital Territory from 2010 to 2015 and a Senator between 2007 and 2010.
Ayodele Fayose is a former Governor of Ekiti State. He was born on November 15, 1960.
Fayose had his secondary education at Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo, before gaining admission into The Polytechnic Ibadan to study Biological Sciences/Applied Medical Biology in 1985. He graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in 1987.
His political career kicked off when he became the second Governor of Ekiti State in 2003. He was, however, impeached in 2006. He returned in 2014 and holds the record as the only politician in Nigeria to have defeated an incumbent governor twice.
Fayose has a load of controversies surrounding him. He was accused of rigging the election that made him governor in 2014. An Army Captain who was at the meeting Fayose held with some security operatives, former ministers, and some party chieftains recorded and leaked the audio from the meeting.
He has also had a series of problems with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the frozen four Zenith Bank accounts he allegedly used to launder money for his election. The money in the accounts was said to be about N4.7 billion.
He was also accused of being a beneficiary of the mismanaged $2.1 billion for purchasing arms for the war against terrorism.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State was born on January 10, 1966. He was the tenth Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He obtained his First School Leaving Certificate at Tambuwal Primary School, Sokoto, in 1979 before he got a Teacher Grade 11 Certificate in 1984 from Government Teachers’ College, Dogon-Daji. He also studied Law at the Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto and graduated in 1991.
Tambuwal also attended several courses abroad, among which are Telecoms Regulatory Master Class–Bath UK, 2004; Lawmaking for the Communications Sectors –BMIT, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004; Regulating a Competitive Industry-UK, Brussels, 2005; Tulane University – International Legislative Drafting, 2005; Stanford Graduate School of Business – Influence and Negotiation, 2008 and KSG Harvard – Infrastructure in Market Economy.
He was elected into the House of Reps in 2003 to represent Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency on the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) platform. A few months after the 2007 general elections, he defected to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) but returned to the ANPP.
But again, when the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, dumped the party for the PDP, Tambuwal followed suit.
On October 28, 2014, Tambuwal formally defected from the ruling PDP to the opposition APC, and a few days later, his security details were withdrawn by the Inspector General of Police, a move that Nigerians criticised as being barbaric and undemocratic.
On April 11, 2015, Tambuwal contested and won the Governorship election of Sokoto State. He was inaugurated on May 29, 2015
In 2018, Tambuwal defected from the All Progressives Congress back to the PDP. Tambuwal was re-elected as governor in the March 9, 2019, Sokoto State gubernatorial election and March 22, 2019, Sokoto State supplementary election.
In 2018, Tambuwal expressed his aspiration for President. He placed the second position with 693 delegate votes behind Atiku Abubakar, who won with 1,532 votes in the primary conducted in the city of Port Harcourt on October 6, 2018.
Other aspirants of the PDP include Dele Momodu, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Charles Okwudili, Cosmos Ndukwe, and Chikwendu Kalu.
Labour Party (LP)
Peter Gregory Obi is the Labour Party (LP) presidential aspirant. He is the former Governor of Anambra State and was a member of the PDP until May 2022.
Obi was born on July 19, 1961, in Onitsha, Anambra State. He attended Christ the King College, Onitsha, where he completed his secondary school education before bagging a BA in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1984.
The 61-year-old did his chief executive program at the Lagos Business School. He also attended the Harvard Business School, Cambridge, USA, where he did two programs; London School of Economics; Columbia Southwest School, New York; the Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, where he also got two certificates in Senior Executive Program and Chief Executive Officers program. He also attended Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Oxford University: Said Business School, and Cambridge University: George Business School.
Peter Obi served as Governor of Anambra State from March 17, 2006, to November 2 of the same year. He was impeached on February 9, 2007, but was reinstated on May 29, 2007. He was re-appointed governor in June 2007 after a court ruled that he was allowed to complete his four-year term. He won a second term in office in 2010.
He had first contested for governor in 2003 under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) platform but lost to Chris Ngige of the PDP. An appeal court, however, declared him the winner three years later.
He was Chairman of the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Peter Obi was also running mate to Atiku Abubakar, PDP’s presidential candidate, in 2019.
The LP candidate has also had his share of controversies. He was found to have remained Director of Next International (UK) Limited while serving as governor in contradiction to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. He was also found not to have declared his offshore companies exposed by the Pandora Papers leaks.
Obi also operated foreign accounts while in power, contrary to Nigerian constitution provisions.
He has gathered a large following ahead of the Nigeria election 2023.
African Democratic Congress (ADC)
Dumebi Kachikwu is the Chairman of Roots Television. He is the younger brother of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
A former son-in-law to former aviation minister Kema Chikwe, he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2015 for alleged obtaining by false pretence.
Ndudi Elumelu accused him of fleecing him of N750 million after promising to make him actualise his dream of becoming the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Delta governorship election.
Kingsley Moghalu OON is a political scientist born in Lagos on May 7, 1963. He grew up in Switzerland and Washington DC, the United States, where his father, Isaac Moghalu, a foreign service officer, was transferred. He returned with his parents when his father transferred his service back to Nigeria’s Eastern Region amid political and economic crisis in April 1967.
Moghalu had his secondary education at Eziama High School, Aba; Government College Umuahia, and Federal Government College Enugu in the 1970s. He earned a degree in law from the University of Nigeria in 1986 and the Barrister at Law from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos.
He obtained a Master of Arts degree in 1992 at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he was the Joan Gillespie Fellow and a research assistant in the International Political Economy program before he later obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005.
He joined the United Nations in 1992 with his first assignment in Cambodia as a UN human rights and elections office at the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. He became political affairs officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States. He served in the former Yugoslavia as political advisor to the special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Croatia from 1996 to 1997. He would later become a legal adviser to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1997. He was later promoted to the role of international development, strategic planning, and external relations.
Moghalu was appointed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002, where he was head of global partnerships and resource mobilization at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. He became director in 2006. In the same year, he was appointed as a member of the UN General Assembly-mandated Redesign Panel on the United Nations Internal Justice System by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
He resigned from the United Nations in December 2008. He founded Sogato Strategies SA, a global strategy and risk consultancy, in Geneva.
Umaru Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007–2010), appointed Moghalu deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2009. Moghalu was the deputy governor for Financial System Stability. He also served as deputy governor for Operations, with supervisory responsibility for currency and branch operations, payment systems, and managing Nigeria’s foreign reserves of $37 billion. He led the rollout of payment systems reforms, including developing and introducing the unique identifier Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Moghalu first contested for President under the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in 2019. He left the party in October 2019, announcing that he would focus in the immediate future on advocacy for electoral reform through the non-partisan citizens movement To Build a Nation (TBAN).
He later joined the ADC to actualize his dream of becoming the next Nigerian President.
New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)
Kwankwaso, a former Kano State Governor, was born on October 21, 1956. He was initially a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member before he left to form the National Movement, which later became the NNPP.
He had his primary education at Kwankwaso Primary School and Gwarzo Boarding Senior Primary School. He also attended Wudil Craft School and Kano Technical College before proceeding to Kaduna Polytechnic, where he did both his National and Higher National diplomas.
He had his postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom from 1982 to 1983 at the Middlesex Polytechnic; and the Loughborough University of Technology, where he got a master’s degree in water engineering in 1985. He also bagged his Ph.D. in water engineering at Sharda University India in 2022.
Rabiu Kwankwaso is not new to politics, as he started his journey in 1992 on the Social Democratic Party (SDP) platform.
He was a member of the People’s Front faction of the party led by General Shehu Yar’adua and other popular politicians such as his former boss Senator Magaji Abdullahi, Bola Tinubu, Babagana Kingibe, Atiku Abubakar, Chuba Okadigbo, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Abubakar Koko, Tony Anenih, and Lamidi Adedibu.
He was elected a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Madobi Federal Constituency. He was later elected Deputy Speaker.
Kwankwaso was elected as one of the delegates from Kano as a member of the People’s Democratic Movement led by Yar’adua during the 1995 Constitutional Conference. He later joined the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in the political transition program of General Sani Abacha.
He joined the PDP in 1998 before contesting for the Kano governorship seat in 1999. He won but lost a second-term bid to Ibrahim Shekarau in 2003.
He was appointed Minister of Defence during this period by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He served on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board before he resigned in 2010.
Kwankwaso, however, actualized his second-term dream in 2011. He was one of the seven PDP governors who formed the G-7. Five of them eventually defected to the APC. In 2014, he tried to win the party’s presidential ticket but lost to Muhammadu Buhari.
He represented Kano Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly from 2015 to 2019.
In 2018, Kwankwaso was among the 14 serving senators of the APC that joined the PDP. He contested the presidential primaries there but lost.
Kwankwaso is also without corruption allegations, as he was indicted in a white paper issued by a commission of inquiry set up by Kano’s Chief Judge in 2004.
In 2015, he was accused of misappropriating N10 billion in gratuities and pensions. He was accused of diverting the sum into housing projects which he allocated to his associates.
Social Democratic Party (SDP)
Prince Adewole Adebayo
Born on January 8, 1972, Adebayo is a lawyer and founder of KAFTANTV in 2016. He is from Ondo town, Ondo State, and contests for the office of the President in the Nigeria election 2023.
He studied at St Stephen Primary School, Ondo, between 1978 and 1983 before proceeding to St Joseph, Ondo, from 1983 to 1989. He earned a law degree at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1997 before he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2000. He also studied law in the United States, passing his New York Bar exams. He is licensed to practice law in Australia, the United States federal courts, California, New York, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Adebayo started his legal career as a litigation lawyer at Tunji Abayomi and Co. in Lagos before setting up his firm, Adewole Adebayo & Co., House of Law, in 2002.
Born in 1983, Okunnu-Lamidi is the youngest aspirant in the Nigeria election 2023. She is the daughter of popular Lagos lawyer and a former Nigerian Federal Commissioner of Works & Housing, Femi Okunnu (SAN)
She studied at the prestigious Atlantic Hall in Lagos for her secondary education before proceeding to the University of Bolton, England, where she got a Bachelor of Art in Business Management, Human Resources Management, and Related Support Services in 2011. She had a Master of Science from the Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, in Strategic Project Management in 2012.
Each political party held primary elections, in which delegates elected their flag bearers for the showdown in 2023. While some parties saw surprises, some were obvious from the get-go.
African Action Congress (AAC)
Sowore was elected presidential flagbearer of the party without any opposition on June 9, 2022.
All Progressives Congress (APC)
After much debate and postponements, the APC held its national convention at Eagle Square, Abuja, from June 6 to June 8.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu won 1,070 votes, while Rotimi Amaechi came second with 316 votes. Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, was third with 235 votes, while Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, was fourth with 152 votes.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was fifth with 47 votes, as his Ebonyi counterpart, David Umahi, scored 38 votes.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Godswill Akpabio, Sen Ibikunle Amosun, and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State all stepped down for Tinubu.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The Peoples Democratic Party held its primaries at MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Atiku Abubakar beat other contestants to emerge flagbearer with 371 votes. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State polled 237 votes, while Bukola Saraki had 70 votes. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom, had 38 votes, while Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State had 20 votes. Anyim Pius Anyim scored a paltry 14 votes, while Dele Momodu and Ayo Fayose, Charles Ugwu, and Chikwendu Kalu scored zero votes each. Tarella Diana and Sam Ohuabunwa each received one vote.
Peter Obi was unanimously named presidential candidate.
African Democratic Congress (ADC)
The party held its national convention on June 8.
Dumebi Kachikwu beat Kingsley Moghalu to emerge as the party’s presidential candidate. The Roots Television founder polled 977 votes while Moghalu got 589.
New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)
The NNPP held its Nigeria election 2023 primaries on June 8, 2022, with Rabiu Kwankwaso emerging winner.
Social Democratic Party (SDP)
Prince Adewole Adebayo defeated Khadija Okunnu-Lamidi to emerge the winner of the SDP ticket. He polled 1,526 votes to beat his rival, who had 83 votes.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that June 17, 2022, is the deadline for presidential candidates of the various parties to name their running mates.
African Action Congress (AAC)
Sowore named Haruna Magashi, a lawyer, from Kano State, as his running mate.
He said Magashi is good enough to help the country emerge victorious in his native Kano, and other states in the Nigeria election 2023.
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) had named Ibrahim Masari as his placeholder running mate. This enabled him to comply with the INEC deadline but continue consulting before selecting his main running mate.
On July 20, Tinubu officially unveiled former Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima as his running mate. He has received several backlashes for selecting a Northern Muslim as his running mate despite him himself being a Muslim.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar named Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate. His choice caused some infighting as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State felt slighted. Several party members also felt Atiku should have selected Wike, leading to fears the fiery governor may dump the party.
The party has since formed a committee to settle the rift arising from the emergence of Okowa as Atiku’s running mate.
Labour Party (LP)
Peter Obi named Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate for the Nigeria election 2023. He was Senator for Kaduna North from 2011 to 2012 and a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007.
Although Obi has enjoyed support from Nigerian youths, Baba-Ahmed has been slammed after an old social media post resurfaced. He was said to have prescribed death to homosexuals, stirring suspicion he may be a religious bigot.
African Democratic Congress (ADC)
Dumebi Kachikwu named Mani Ahmad, a northern Muslim, his running mate.
New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)
Rabiu Kwankwaso named Bishop Isaac Idahosa of the God First Ministry, Lekki Light Centre as his running mate.
Idahosa is from Edo State.
Social Democratic Party (SDP)
Adewole Adebayo selected Nafisa Mohammed Bolori from Borno State as his running mate for the Nigeria election 2023.