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Race to presidency: 14 candidates overshadowed by Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Kwankwaso

Eighteen candidates have presented themselves to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who is completing his second and final four-year term in office in May 29, 2023.…

Eighteen candidates have presented themselves to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who is completing his second and final four-year term in office in May 29, 2023.  

 While majority of the 18 contenders have commenced campaigns to promote their candidatures, the February 25, 2023 presidential succession contest appeared to be a race among four main contenders.

They are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressives Congress (APC); former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) and a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). 

Political discourse among pundits, media coverage and analysis, and social media talks, centre around these frontrunners, overshadowing 14 other candidates.  

Here are the 14 other contestants for the country’s top political seat. 

Hamza Al-Mustapha (Action Alliance)

Al-Mustapha won the party’s ticket, defeating another contestant, Samson Odupitan, after two other aspirants, Felix Osakwe and Tunde Kelani withdrew from the race. 

He was trained as a military intelligence operative and held various command posts, serving as the chief security officer to the late military head of state, General Sani Abacha.

After Abacha’s death, Al-Mustapha was arrested and accused of plotting at least four coups from prison. He was released from Kirikiri maximum security prison after many years. 

He told party delegates that his experience as a military officer for 35 years and while working with Abacha would enable him tackle insecurity. 

He said in an interview with BBC Hausa in May that he would stay in Sambisa forest if he became president. 

“I will stay there during weekends, holidays and see if anyone would touch me. I will deal with the problem of insecurity, no matter whose ox is gored,” he said. 

Omoyele Sowore (African Action Congress)

Sowore is a human rights activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters, an online news medium. This is the second time he will be running for the post of the president of Nigeria. 

He contested the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the party, which he founded in 2018. 

In the 2019 poll, Mr Sowore garnered 33,953 votes. After the election, he was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS) in August 2019 for an alleged treason after he led a nationwide protest tagged RevolutionNow.

Imumolen Christopher (Accord Party)

Imumolen, 39, is an educationist, a professor and entrepreneur. The indigene of Esan West, Ekpoma in Edo State started his work career as a plant engineer at BOC Gases Nigeria Plc in February 2005.

The Addo of Abaji possesses two PhD degrees in Engineering Research and Educational Management.

He is the founder of the Joint Professional Training and Support International Limited (JPTS) and UNIC Foundation, a non-profit organisation.

He won the party’s ticket unopposed. 

Imumolen said he was in the race to the State House to address the leadership deficit affecting the development of Nigeria.

Dumebi Kachikwu (African Democratic Congress)

Kachikwu is the founder and chief executive officer of Roots TV Nigeria. He won the party’s primary in Abeokuta, Ogun State, scoring 978 votes to defeat a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, who came second in the election with 589 votes.

However, his candidacy is facing a setback as he was suspended in September over alleged anti-party activities.

He was accused of making “defamatory” statements that contravened the values of the party.

But Kachikwu has insisted that he remains the party’s presidential candidate despite the suspension.

He said his purported suspension was due to his opposition to an alleged tenure elongation of the chairman of the party, Ralph Nwosu.

Sani Yabagi (Action Democratic Party)

Yabagi is an energy and crude oil expert. He doubles as the national chairman and presidential candidate of party. 

He was chosen by a consensus method at the party’s national convention in Abuja

In a recent interview, he said rotational presidency was a backward thinking, saying the best hands should be voted to lead the country. He said religion and ethnicity won’t translate to good governance. 

Umeadi Chukwudi (All Progressives Grand Alliance)

Chukwudi is a former chief judge of Anambra State and a professor of Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He emerged as APGA’s presidential flag-bearer unopposed at the party’s convention in Abuja.

He said his major concern was to enthrone the rule of law, separation of powers and due process in the polity if elected the president of Nigeria.

Princess Chichi Ojei (Allied Peoples Movement)

Ojei is the only female candidate running to succeed President Buhari. The Delta State-born politician is a corporate finance specialist.

She emerged as the party’s presidential candidate after the previous flag-bearer and national chairman, Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, withdrew from the race. 

Dantalle said he took the decision to give women a pride of place in the political scheme of things. Like the women before her, Ojei will find it difficult to gather votes in an election dominated by male contenders. 

Sunday Adenuga (Boot Party)

Adenuga, 48, a businessman from Ogun State, is both the party’s national chairman and presidential candidate. 

He clinched the ticket after polling 292 votes to defeat Evelyn Ohevire, who polled 18 votes at the party’s primary in Abuja. 

Adenuga, who believes that today’s Nigeria would be best governed by young politicians, said, “What and who Nigeria needs is not any of the old or those who have been created by the same old process.”

Felix Johnson Osakwe (National Rescue Movement)

Osakwe is a Delta State-born clergyman. He contested the 2019 presidential candidate on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).

Osakwe was named NRM’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election after the party suspended its former candidate, Mazi Okwudili Nwaanyajike for allegedly not meeting its conditions. 

Osakwe maintained that Nigeria had suffered a dearth of purposeful leadership, which he said the NRM had come to provide. 

Kolawole Abiola (Peoples Redemption Party)

Kolawole is the first child of the late Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 annulled presidential election.

He won against Usman Bugaje, Patience Key and Gboluga Mosugu to pick the PRP ticket.

He said PRP’s victory would be synonymous with that of his deceased father in the June 12, 1993 election.

Adewole Adebayo (Social Democratic Party)

Adebayo is a lawyer and founder of KAFTAN Television. He clinched the party’s ticket after polling 1,546 votes to defeat his closest rival, Kadijah Okunnu-Lamidi, who polled 83 votes. 

He attended the Obafemi Awolowo University and University of Jos, where he earned a degree and master’s in Law respectively. 

A member of the International Bar Association, Adebayo is licensed to practise in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, California, New York, and federal courts in the United States. 

He plans to create 30million jobs if elected president, without giving details on how the feat would be achieved. 

Abdulmalik Ado-Ibrahim (Young Peoples Party)

Abdulmalik, son of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, is a businessman with vast interest, including the energy sector.

He scored 66 votes to defeat his rival, Mrs Ruby Issac, who garnered 4 votes.

If elected president, Abdulmalik vowed to fight hunger through aggressive agricultural revolution.

According to him, Nigeria, with 65million arable hectares of land, has no business with hungry.

Dan Nwanyanwu (Zenith Labour Party)

Nwanyanwu is a businessman and lawyer. He was the chairman of Labour Party (LP) from 2004 until 2014. Under his leadership, the LP secured the governorship of Ondo State with Olusegun Mimiko.

Nwanyanwu was elected as the chairman, Board of Trustees of the party after serving as chairman for 10 years. He left Labour Party in February 2015.

He is now the national chairman and presidential candidate of the ZLP, now Zenith Progressives Alliance (ZPA). 

Nnadi Charles Osita (Action Peoples Party)

There is no much information about the candidate of the party other than what the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published recently. 

According to INEC’s list of cleared presidential contenders, Osita, 49, holds a National Diploma (ND), being the highest academic certificate he submitted to the electoral umpire. 

He also presented a First School Leaving Certificate and Senior Secondary School Certificate. 

A simple search on the internet, including the party’s website and its social media handles, showed no information concerning the person of Nnadi Charles Osita, the presidential candidate of the APP.

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