Political strategies

How the strategies of Atiku, Tinubu, Obi and Kwankwanso are heating up politics

Many Nigerians are hopeful that the general elections scheduled for February and March 2023 will be held as the situation of insecurity worsens and fear grips the nation.

Four major political parties and 14 others nominate candidates for election.

The office of the president naturally arouses the most interest among politicians and the people at large due to his high position.

Political debates take on ethnic and religious currents, which crescendo further warm an atmosphere already charged with fear and gloom due to aggravated insecurity.


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Unlike previous elections, where only two major political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), dominated the presidential elections, two other political parties have sprung up to threaten to upend the upcoming elections.

The new parties are the Labor Party (LP) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

The four parties present candidates who appeal to different sections of the population and whose choices of running mates or strategies for winning elections heat up the political system.

The APC Candidate

APC features former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu who helped Muhammadu Buhari defeat incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

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Buhari, a retired general and former head of state (December 31, 1983 – August 27, 1985), ran for president three times – in 2003, 2007 and 2011 – before winning in 2015.

Tinubu admits he has lived his whole life pursuing the presidency and thinks it’s his turn to step into the seat after Buhari’s exit on May 29, 2023.

Although he was not initially in line to choose the ticket, following the activities of some party cabals, his landslide victory in the presidential primary forced party members to close ranks.

But Tinubu courted the rage of many Nigerian Christians after choosing a former Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, another Muslim like him, as his running mate.

Citing recurring religious tensions in the country and attacks on churches by terrorists, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Northern Christians have formally rejected the Muslim-Muslim ticket.

The controversial choice remains a factor that will shape Tinubu’s fate in the poll.

The PDP candidate

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The PDP is heading to next year’s polls with former Vice President Atiku Abukabar, who had many blows to the presidency (in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019).

Atiku challenged the PDP ticket against calls from southern party stalwarts that the region should produce the next president after Buhari, a fellow northerner, completes his eight years in office.

But Atiku’s emergence in the party’s presidential primary as a candidate would seem to belie the thinking of these Southern leaders.

After Atiku’s victory, most party stakeholders believed he would choose Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who came second in the party primary, as his running mate.

But the former vice president ultimately settled for Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who did not even participate in the primary.

Although Wike and other PDP governors – such as George Ortom of Benue, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Seyi Makinde of Oyo – who ran for his vice presidential bid, reportedly decided to remain in the party, the Rivers State Governor continued to vent his anger at Atiku, as well as some PDP leaders, including PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu, whom Wike accused of working to get him out of the deputy struggle. presidential.

Wike has promised to talk about what he claimed were lies against him by Atiku, whom he accuses of allowing his “attack dogs” to vilify him.

As well as being another northern candidate after Buhari, Atiku faces backlash in his party over his choice of Okowa as his running mate. The choice, currently a big debate, will impact his performance in the election.

The LP Candidate

A former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, will fly the LP flag as a presidential candidate in the 2023 elections. Obi quit the PDP after it became clear that Atiku would not back down on his ambition.

Obi, Atiku’s running mate in 2019, defected of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2014 after stepping down as Governor of Anambra.

There were talks of a possible merger between the LP and the NNPP, but the talks ended in failure.

Unconfirmed reports claim that neither Peter Obi nor Kwankwaso were set to be each other’s running mates.

Obi then chose Datti Baba Ahmed as running mate.

Due to his large following on social media, Obi’s emergence is fueling debates over who will be Nigeria’s next president.

His choice of a young running mate was a plus for his campaign, but many Nigerians say he lacks the solid structures that Tinubu and Atiku had built over the years.

The NNPP Candidate

The NNPP has a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso as his presidential candidate.

Kwankwaso had been a member of the PDP, the platform on which he served as minister (2003-2007) and governor (1999-2003 and 2011-2015).

He was also a senator on the APC platform between 2015 and 2019.


Kwankwaso joined the NNPP after leaving the PDP in March 2022.

He then won the party’s presidential ticket.

He also has selected a pastor from Lagos State, Isaac Idahosa, as his running mate.

Kwankwanso’s NNPP is expanding its reach by winning “deceived” members from other parties, alongside its loyal supporters based mainly in some northern states.

Although Kwankwaso commands large followings in Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina and other northern states, his habitual defection from one political party to another in recent elections could affect his chances in the next elections.