Going by the political structure in the country, it is easy to predict that the next Nigerian president will emerge either on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). These two major political parties are carefully monitoring the steps of each other leading up to the 2023 Presidential Race.
A day after the PDP adjusted the timetable for its primaries, APC also adjusted its dates; APC presidential primary will now hold from Sunday, May 29 to Monday, May 30. With this adjustment, APC will be starting its primary election a few hours after PDP concludes its presidential primary. These two parties that parade a plethora of presidential aspirants are playing a serious mind game.
The ruling party claimed it charged as high as ₦100million for its presidential ticket to discourage pretenders from picking the form. Still, the high price strategy failed because we have never witnessed numerous aspirants as we have now vying for the top seat in the country. 25 of the 28 aspirants that picked APC’s presidential ticket have submitted, while 15 cleared PDP aspirants are still in the presidential bid.
None of these two major parties have taken a bold step to zone the presidential seat to the north or south. PDP had thrown its ticket open to bidders from any part of the country, while APC has not officially taken any tangible stand on zoning. Despite these various political gimmicks and Buhari’s neutral stand so far, the men are gradually standing off the boys. Here are the top 6 contenders:
1. Bola Tinubu
The former governor of Lagos state and leader of the APC, Tinubu, is chasing his presidential bid with all his might. He has more governors who have pledged support for his ambition than any other aspirant. The governors of the two most populous states in the country, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Umar Ganduje, are some of his known loyalists.
2. Atiku Abubakar
This former vice president is probably one of the most loved northerners in the south. He is contesting for the sixth time, and he stands as one of the favourites to pick the PDP ticket. Atiku is a man with a deep pocket, and this factor has always been working in his favour in the primaries.
3. Yemi Osinbajo
Prof. Yemi is an aspirant whose present vice president position has made him one of the top contenders for the 2023 presidential race. He is consulting widely, and in a short while, he has built deep contacts across various state chapters of the APC.
4. Ahmad Lawan
In politics, nothing happens by accident. The current president of the senate made this list because of the political shrewdness of some powerful individuals from the north who are against the aspiration of Tinubu. As the only strong presidential aspirant from the north in the APC, he is enjoying support from politicians that want the power to remain in the north. Moreover, some southeasterners in APC prefer him to any other aspirant from the southwest or south-south.
5. Bukola Saraki
The endorsement Saraki received from the Elders in the north is a huge armour he is going into the primary of the PDP with. The antagonistic role he played as the president of the senate during the Buhari administration’s first tenure earned him respect from some Nigerians. They see in Saraki a Nigerian who can dare the odds to make a positive change.
6. Nyesom Wike
The tenacious and outspoken governor of River state enjoys support from many of his southern colleagues. Considering the power that resides with governors and the River state’s resources at the disposal of Nyesom, he is a force to be reckoned with in the presidential race.