“Nigeria election 2023: Who are the presidential candidates?

As the campaign period leading up to the February 25 presidential election neared its end, the ruling All Progressives Congress candidate Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party both held rallies to mobilize votes and increase their chances of winning in what appears to turn out to be a very close contest.

Labour Party candidate Peter Obi, who has emerged ahead of all other 17 candidates in most polls, meanwhile preferred to take to social media to reach out to his young, urban following.

Aware of the issues that will dominate the votes, Tinubu, Atiku and Obi have all promised to revive the battered economy and fight spreading insecurity as well as endemic corruption. 

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* Peter Obi: Relying on the Obi-dients

Peter Obi of the Labour Party has distinguished himself from the two main contenders by being only 61 years old. He has framed himself as the anti-establishment candidate in hopes of harnessing votes among those who feel anger at the status quo.
The former governor of Anambra has managed to win the support of mostly young, urban southern Nigerians hit by economic hardship, joblessness and insecurity. They call themselves the ‘Obi-dients.’

Peter Obi has found a following among young and urban Nigerians
Image: Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto/picture alliance
Some critics have said all the main candidates are ‘cut from the same cloth’
Image: Abraham Achirga/REUTERS
* Bola Tinubu: ‘It’s my turn’

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 and a multimillionaire, is an ethnic Yoruba Muslim from the country’s southwest. A co-founder of the All Progressives Congress in 2013 alongside outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, the 70-year-old likes to expound on his role as kingmaker.
* Atiku Abubakar: Faith in liberalization

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, 76, is running for the sixth, and probably last time. Another multimillionaire, Abubakar is a northern Muslim from the Fulani ethnic group. When Buhari was still in politics, Abubakar’s chances to win the presidency were seen as slim. But with the current president out of the competition after two consecutive terms, Abubakar now hopes to win the polls in the north, where the largest blocks of voters reside.