Nigeria’s Election Euphoria Might Be Short-Lived

Nigeria’s Election Euphoria Might Be Short-Lived
Supporters of Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi, chant during an election campaign rally in Lagos, Nigeria, Feb. 11, 2023 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

ABUJA, Nigeria—Voters in Nigeria will cast their ballots at more than 176,000 polling stations across the country in the 2023 presidential election. Eighteen candidates are running to succeed outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. Earlier this week, in a ceremony attended by Buhari as well as other domestic and foreign dignitaries, they all signed a national peace accord pledging to ensure the conduct of a peaceful election and to accept its outcome.

Buhari will not be in Abuja on Election Day, having departed yesterday for his home state of Katsina, where he will cast his vote. Buhari pledged to oversee the conduct of a free, fair and credible election as one final parting gift to Nigerians on his way out of office. But few voters have fond memories of his presidency, which ends amid worsening living conditions in the country.

The top contenders to succeed him include Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos and a chieftain of Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress, or APC; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, or PDP, who is seeking the presidency for the sixth time in 30 years; and Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra and the PDP’s vice-presidential nominee in the 2019 presidential election, who is running this year as the Labour Party’s candidate. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a former governor of the vote-rich Kano who previously served as defense minister and senator, is also in the race. Though not considered a frontrunner, Kwankwaso is viewed as a spoiler who could take votes away from other candidates, particularly in Nigeria’s northwest, where he is expected to do well.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review